The Student News Site of the Latin School of Chicago

The Forum

The Student News Site of the Latin School of Chicago

The Forum

The Student News Site of the Latin School of Chicago

The Forum

Architecture, Halloween Festivities, and The Bulls: 2019 French Exchange


by Vivi Kaufman, Staff Reporter
Latin’s Exchange Program prides itself on the many exchange opportunities they offer students. Beginning with the French exchange in 1988, the trips offer students an opportunity to learn about different cultures and form bonds with students they would never have met otherwise. In 2005 Latin partnered with schools in Berlin, China, and Madrid.  
This year, Latin hosted 13 students from the École Alsacienne from October 13th to October 26th. Many students applied  to improve their French and experience a cultural immersion in Paris during Project Week. Elena Skender hosted an exchange student from Paris for the first time this year. “I was on the fence about it at first [because I thought] there might be more fun project weeks,” she said, “but I am definitely glad I did it. It has been a positive experience. It is very cool to speak this language that I am learning with native speakers and to meet someone new and build a connection with her and a whole group of people.” Her exchange, Mia, also enjoyed her experience. “Everyone was really welcoming I had a lot of common points of interest with Elena,” she said. “The architecture is really impressive, and the people giving the tours were really open and cool. My favorite activity was the river walk because the view was cool, and so was the wheel at Navy Pier.” 
Most of the activities that Ms. Dorer-Fitzpatrick planned for the group were architecturally centered. The French students, along with some of the Latin students, participated in a Gold Coast tour, an architectural boat tour, and a walking tour downtown that highlighted Chicago’s old and new architecture. “I was fascinated by everyone’s willingness to engage in every different experience.” Ms. Dorer-Fitzpatrick said. “They embraced the architecture piece and the cultural piece. The real heart of that was during Halloween—they really got into that. It was just pure fun.” 
One night, both groups of students went out to a Bulls game. “They were also unbelievably enthusiastic,” Ms. Dorer-Fitzpatrick said, “but the game was probably a sideshow to the experience which had more to do with the sensory immersion there which was something they aren’t used to seeing.”
When asked about the language aspect of the trip, she said that when coming to the U.S, the French students had to refocus in a setting of pure English immersion. One important part of the trip for them was the language immersion, which for them was English. The French students took a few Latin classes of their choosing. Before coming to the U.S., the students chose from a large list of classes offered in the High School and were instructed to pick a few that might interest them. 
Mia, Elena’s exchange student, remarked, “Latin students have more choices in regards to class selections.” Ms. Dorer spoke on how some of the students reacted to this different system of class selections. “One of the things that they’re not used to and that they weren’t sure whether they loved the idea here, although mostly they seemed to and were not sure how to take it, was all of the elective choices that we have. With so many English options, so many History options, it was difficult. I saw it in another way, which was kind of funny,” says Ms. Dorer.
The French exchange is a program unique to Latin that fosters new experiences and growth, for all of the students involved. When the Latin students go to Paris during Project Week, they will be able to experience firsthand the complete cultural immersion that comes with an international exchange and strengthen their language skills along the way. 

View Comments (2)
More to Discover

Forum Awards Are Back!

Submit by May 1st

Comments (2)

All The Forum Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • M

    Milena SjeklocaNov 7, 2019 at 4:40 pm

    Nice job, Vivi! Thank you for highlighting Latin’s exchange programs. I’m glad to be going to Berlin with you this year!

  • R

    Robert IgbokweNov 3, 2019 at 6:32 pm

    Great article, Vivi!! I’m so happy to see you writing for the Forum!! 🙂 Latin’s exchange programs are truly amazing; I’m so happy I get to go one this year!! 🙂 🙂 🙂