Bonjour, Senlis

Upper-level French students at HCP prepare to host students from a partner school in France this November


Gage Catteeuw

Gage Catteeuw, right, and his French exchange friend Sasha, left, share a moment in Will Rogers World Airport.

Katie Hillemeyer, Reporter

The French students are coming, the French students are coming!

Students from two continents are preparing to explore a new culture this November. An agreement between Harding Charter Prep, Casady School and Senlis in France will allow students to receive an experience like no other, allowing for an unparalleled level of language immersion — and some cool Instagram photo ops.

Juniors and Seniors enrolled in French are eligible to go on the spring exchange trip. However, anyone can host the French exchange students when they come in the fall. The trip this year will be focused around Latinx culture in Oklahoma, hitting everything from the Capitol to the Stockyards.

To get involved, students can go see French teacher Emma Smreker in room A203 to find out information about hosting a French student. However, anybody is welcome to come to the events associated with the trip before or after school.

“It’s also important to just interact with the students that come here because they’re here to practice their English, and it’s always interesting to meet someone from across the ocean,” Smreker said.

 “Even if becoming fluent in French isn’t your goal, it’s still important to have the experience of meeting someone new and learning their background and experiences. I know that my trip to France changed my life.”

Junior Gage Catteeuw, who hosted a student (Sasha) his freshman year, said, “Sasha was super freaked out by the stockyards… he asked, ‘what are those cages for?’ and we kind of had to explain how cattle worked to him.” 

“Halloween was his [Sasha’s] favorite experience. He was so excited about the candy,” Catteeuw continued.

At the end of the two-week long exchange, emotions run high for some.

“I know it sounds so cliché, but there is never a dry eye before they get on the bus to go to the airport because no one wants it to end. It happens every year without fail,” Smreker said.