Foreign exchange student hopes to learn about U.S. culture


Junior Iris Dauchot at Key Club Concession stand with Senior Chelsea Davidson and Freshman Gabby Shires.

Kelee Mills, Staff Writer

There have been a lot of foreign exchange students at Harrisburg High School. One of the new foreign exchange students is Iris Dauchot. Iris is from France. Iris came to the United States to learn more about her future. 

¨I am from France, I lived in a small town next to a big town. I came to the United States because I wanted one more year to think about what I wanted to do after high school,” Dauchot said. 

Iris Dauchot also wanted to discover what the United States was all about and what the culture is like. 

¨I thought that discovering the United States and living as a high school student in this country would be a once in a lifetime experience. I also wanted to learn all about the culture,¨ Dauchot said. 

When coming to the United States as a foreign exchange student it can be a complicated process. 

¨To come to the United States I came through an association called YFU which stands for Youth For Understanding, and I had to do a few tests on my English level as well as describe myself so that when a family chose me they would know that I liked the same things as them,” Dauchot said. “I traveled here by a plane, and I had to answer a lot of questions to get my visa.” 

The United States is different from France. Iris also likes it here because it is different from what she is used to. 

¨I like it here because it’s so different from what I’m used to and because I’m new so a lot of people are nice and want to talk to me,” Dauchot said. “A lot of things are different, mostly how towns are because towns in Europe are older and everything is close together so I can do everything by foot, but here you need to have a car to even go to school. Also there is a lot more fast food and less restaurants and small shops here.” 

The schools are also different because they have more classes, and they don’t choose their classes or only part of them in the last two years of high school in France. Their schools are very big because they have 100 students per year and it´s middle school and high school together. Dauchot’s school is a private school that puts a lot of importance on languages and grades. 

¨Something that we don’t have in France that I really like here in school are the team sports and all the games where the school comes to support their teams,” Dauchot said.

Travel is very different in Europe as they can travel to a different country in the same amount of time it takes Americans to travel to a different state. 

“In France, the good part is the activities and trips my school organized,” Dauchot said. “At the end of every year we did a big class trip and once we even went to Rome for a week.¨ 

Iris had to of course learn English to be able to speak the language in the United States. 

¨I started learning English when I was seven years old,” Dauchot said. “I always put a lot of effort into learning it because it is important if you want to work in big industries. So I did summer school in England so it kind of always was part of what I learned in school. They have it every year. But in France we speak French.¨