French Students on Campus


Kaytlin Reyes

Seeing double? Sophomore Evan Brewer meets his French doppelgänger during B Lunch. Despite the language barrier, they still smiled at seeing the other.

Janelle White, Assistant Editor-in-Chief

On April 29th, 2019 our school was visited by students coming from France. They were here to shadow our Jaguars to see how the true University Preparatory experience was like.

Monday morning, the volunteers who wanted to show the foreign students met in the staff lounge. The French students came through the door in groups, some of UP’s students greeting them. Ms. Hatcher assembled UP students and the French students into two separate lines, pairing them up and sealing the deal that they would be spending the next few days together.

The duty of a “Jaguar Tour Guide” was to allow the French students to shadow them throughout their classes, eat lunch with them, and have them feel comfortable on campus. Although most people seemed uncomfortable with their new friend, sophomore Erika Pipkin felt otherwise.

“We hit it off. It was hard to communicate at first and we needed google translate a lot, but she was very warm and sweet and said she loved how kind I was. She also said she liked ‘American laughter’. They don’t laugh in class in France.”

As the students followed the same routine for Tuesday morning, Wednesday brought an end to the fun they were having.  Most students and their assigned French student brought gifts for each other in the morning, the final day beginning. The hours dwindled down until final goodbyes had to be said.

“It was very sad,” Pipkin says, “We both were very nervous about never seeing each other again. In seventh period, it hit me and I got misty eyed.”

The French students got along with the friendly faces on campus, including people that weren’t showing them around. Although it was an intense immersion into American culture and school life, University Preparatory breaks all language barriers and insures every student, whether they’re from here or not, feel like they’re at home.