Life in the U.S. / Student Spotlight

9 Things I Learned as an Exchange Student | Juliette from France

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Juliette visiting the St. Louis Arch

Juliette from France is experiencing America in Illinois for the 2015-16 academic year. In today’s post she shares with us 9 things she has learned as an exchange student.

1. To forget about all the expectations that had in my home country, so I can have an even better experience than expected.

Yes I’m not in California, just in front of the beach with a wonderful sunshine but guess what, I have lakes. Yes I’m not in a big city like I may have wanted to go, but I know now that in smallest towns people are more friendly, I know now that they welcome you as a full member of their community.


Juliette and friends

2. To be open to everything, and try everything.

(Especially the food, I found out that the way people eat completely differ from countries to countries, but it also a good opportunity to share time with my host family trying to make french food; which was really good by the way.)

3. To ask when I don’t know.

It may seems simple, but it wasn’t something I was used to before, and after a few days I’ve realized that I was also here for that.

4. To not judge but to adapt.

They don’t eat, dress, act the same ? It’s ok! I understand that now I can both adapt to my new place while I’m still myself.

5. To make the best of every situation, so they can become the best memories I have.

I think one of my favorite moments was when I went kayaking on the lake for the first time with my host mom, or the time I went to haunted houses with some new friends from school. All that because I’ve learned how to make the best of every situation.

6. That I have a stronger accent that I thought, but they really like it. I still have to repeat myself frequently but it also help me with my English. Note to myself: never say the word “brownie” in front of someone, so far it’s the word that represent my accent.

Juliette and her basketball team

7. To step out of my comfort zone, jump in the new life that in front of me. 

8. And finally that the time fly really fast when you somewhere as good as the place where I’m at. I can’t realized that it’s already been 89 days since I’ve left my home land, my family and my friends to be here. To be an american girl for life!

9. To be thankful, at least more than I was. Thankful to be here, and be able to share the true life of an american family.

Interested in sharing YOUR corner of the world with an international exchange student? Learn more about becoming a host family at: