From France to Illinois: A Day in the Life of an Exchange Student



I am going to describe to you one basic day in my life as an American student. I hope you will enjoy it!

A Little Bit About Me

My name is Liza, and I am an exchange student from France in the USA for 2023/24. I am doing my exchange year as a Junior. My home town is called Rennes; it is situated in the north west of France. I have 2 older brothers. As a hobby, I love watching soccer and Formula 1. Thanks to my brothers!  My parents are working in a French electricity company. I am a ballet dancer and I have been playing violin for 8 years now.


My host family is located in southern Illinois, in a very small town. My high school is very small too. We are about 150 students overall.


My Host Family

My host family lives in southern Illinois. They have 5 daughters who are all older than me and out of the house. They are really the sweetest persons ever. Like they say, I fit perfectly in the family. They really adopted me as their 6th daughter. They took me all around southern Illinois to show me their culture and different really interesting things.

They are always making sure that I am feeling good and are doing everything they can so my year here in America is the greatest experience that I can have. I love that they are also trying to know more about my country and my culture. For example, to make that happen we are cooking French recipes and American recipes. I don't think that I could ever find a host family like them. They are just perfect. Their daughters are so nice to me too.

Liza and her host family standing in front of a religious memorial.

Liza with her host parents Regina and Douglas Bates.


A Day as an American Student

February 6th, 2024

Today I woke up at 7 am. I took a shower and did my make up. After getting ready, I did my coffee and my host mom gave me a ride to school. I never rode the bus to go to school because she is a substitute teacher at the grade school right next to my high school.

Tonight it is senior night for our basketball team and cheerleading squad. I am a cheerleader myself. Tonight is going to be very sad!


Liza with members of her cheerleading squad.

Liza with her her cheerleading squad.


During the beginning of our first hour, we are reciting the pledge of allegiance.

  • So for the first hour I have Art II. It is one of my favorite classes. I absolutely love beginning the day with art !
  • Second hour I have Algebra II which is very easy for me, my teacher is always teasing about how I am always done before everybody.
  • Third hour, I have American History which is obligatory. We hardly do anything during this class. Our teacher usually just plays a video about what we learn and then we are done for the rest of the hour. It is pretty much a free hour for me so I can do my homework if I have some or work on something else.
  • Fourth hour is English. When I first came here, it was the subject where I was struggling the most. But now, I am getting better at it. I am actually proud of myself because I wrote a lot of essays and got very good grades!
  • Fifth hour, I have Spanish. It is an easy class because I have been learning Spanish for 5 years. At first, I was a little bit confused because there are some differences between the Spanish from Latin America and the Spanish from Spain.

After this hour, I have my lunch break for 30 minutes. One of my best friends has the same lunch as me so as we don’t have any classes together I am always staying with her!

  • After my lunch break, I have my seventh hour. So during the first semester it was Government but now it changed to Civics. It is a senior class and I am a junior. My guide counselor told me that it was going to be more challenging for me. And I actually enjoyed it ! My teacher was so proud of me because I got 92% on my Constitution test.
  • Last hour is Physical Education… I absolutely hate this class because I am not with all my friends. I have friends in that class but I just don’t really enjoy it. It's P.E. after all.

Every day after our last hour, we have 30 minutes of RTI. It is a class where we can do whatever we want but it is also half an hour where you can do your homework with a teacher who can help you.

On the Way Home

Today, I am riding the bus home because my host mom has an appointment.  Once I am home I am getting ready for senior night! I am putting on some waterproof mascara so even if I cry, my makeup will still be in place.


A Basketball / Cheerleading Game

At 4:30, one of my friends came to pick me up so we could be at the high school to finish the decorations for senior night.  So first we had the junior-varsity game. At half time I realized that it was going to be the last time cheering at a home game ever. It made me very sad.


Before the varsity game, all the seniors got honored. My high school decided to honor me even though I am not a senior but a junior. It was very nice of them!

During half time, we did a senior dance and everybody loved it!

At the end of the game, we had cupcakes and we took senior pictures.

A lot of tears but it was a wonderful night!


Liza along with the basketball team and cheerleading squad.

Liza posing for a picture with the basketball team and her cheerleading squad.


So, this is all for me, I hope you enjoyed reading a day about me! I will put different pictures so you can visualize my life a little bit.  


Thank you for taking the time to read my blog!!


Tags: Cultural Exchange, Exchange Student, Student Experience

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