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Impressions of France by an American Teen

 The following article is written by my teen daughter, Lilah. She will be writing a series of articles related to her French experience, both for this site and for my E-Zine, Life in France. Be sure to check back, and to subscribe to the E-Zine so you don’t miss anything. Also, feel free to email Lilah directly with any questions.

 I'm an American teen girl, and I’ve lived in France for two years. When my mom decided to move to France, I was excited and thought that it would be like being on a vacation all the time. Little did I know I’d be going to a school where I couldn’t speak the language. I miss a lot of things from the states like my friends, my dad, and food. The food is very different in France. Not that the food is bad because it isn’t it’s just that I’m not used to it. I just think that there is more a variety of types of food where I lived than there is here. The soda even tastes a little bit different here, and some sodas they don’t have like Dr. Pepper. My comfort foods that I had in America no longer existed or I didn’t know where to find them, like pepperoni pizza, certain pastas (nobody has even heard of here) like macaroni and cheese or fettucini alfredo, ice cream brands like blue bell and flavours like cookies and cream, candy like Reeses peanut butter cups. There isn’t much to do here and things are open fewer hours, which is good for the people who work there, but not for the people who want to do something or need to get something. Where I lived in Texas, there were 2 theme parks 30min. away- “Seaworld” and “Six Flags Fiesta Texas”. There are also other things like laser tag, bowling, rollercade, ice skating, the rodeo (in spring), basketball games (the Spurs), ice hockey games (the Iguanas), concerts, school sports games, school dances, carnivals, shopping, and swimming because it doesn’t get that cold where I came from. School is very different here. It’s way longer because here schools from 8am- 6pm and in my old school it was from 7:45am- 3pm. In the states we can choose the classes we want to go to, other than the fact that everyone has to take English, math, science, history, and a certain amount of sports. You can choose around 3 classes from: computer, Art (different types), music, chorus, photography, theatre, etc. Another thing that is different is that the classes have classes to fit your level: below grade level, grade level, advanced, GT (gifted and talented). Plus almost everyone does something after school, unlike here where there isn’t any time after school other than for homework. There are also yearbooks, festivals, proms/ dances, sport matches/ games, theme days (like everyone in the school wears the school colours that day). People usually don’t smoke in American high schools because it’s illegal under the age of 18 (in Texas it’s 18). I think that the people in school are nicer here and more accepting. There aren’t many cliques here compared to American schools. I think people in the states are too materialistic. Everything in Texas is very spread out while here everything is very compact. The country is right next to the city, unlike in the Texas if you live in a big city like San Antonio (that is where I lived) you have drive a while to get to the country. There aren’t little villages in the States; it’s just one big city. The houses are very different here. I think France can be very pretty and very historical; it’s amazing how old everything is. I’m used to living in France now and still miss a lot of the things in the states but think if I went back to the states that I would miss France.




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