Emmanuelle, 16 ans : de la Bigorre à la Floride !

Comme nous vous l’annoncions dans notre sixième numéro, vous pouvez découvrir la version anglaise (cliquer sur suite) du focus sur Emmanuelle Couilliet, élève de « Théo » l’an passé qui est parti en Floride passer une année scolaire.

 Emmanuelle tient un blog où elle poste de nombreuses photos en plus de sa page Facebook.


What made you want to do this?

The first reason I wanted to spend a year in a foreign country is because I believe the best way to become bilingual (or almost bilingual) is total immersion. I’m experiencing amazing things in America, and it will probably be be one of the best years of my life.


How did you do ? Was it hard, expensive ?

I searched online for the best organisations, and I found WEP. I read some reviews about the organisation, and after discussing it with my parents, I finally signed up.

I had an interview, and I had to take an aptitude test (A2-B1 is required), which I passed. I thought it was neither too easy, nor too hard..

For ten months, my parents have to pay about 8 000€.


Tell me about your first months in Florida…

At first, it was pretty difficult because of the language. The people talk really fast with strong American accents and they use a LOT of slang.

So at first, it was pretty hard at school, especially when taking notes. The teacher speaks very fast, and I couldn’t understand or spell the words, so I had to copy the student behind me… But I’ve been here for 4 months now, so I’m used to the fast pace and I’m finally able to read my notes!


What are the differences between Florida and France ?

There are so many differences…

First of all, the weather is very different. Today is December 20th, and the temperature is around 25 degrees! I can’t even begin to imagine the temperatures in April…

The school system is also very different. I start at 7.45am and finish at 2.05pm. My afternoons are free, and I have less homework than in France, so I’ve become a bit lazy.

They have baseball, American football, basketball, track & soccer teams, and we support BRHS’ players during the games held after school on Fridays.

Teachers and students are pretty close, some of the teachers are also coaches. For example, my History teacher is a basketball coach, my Chemistry teacher a track coach, my English teacher a cheer-leading coach. I think that’s pretty cool!

I was also able to take Dance, Orchestra and Forensic Science, as classes !


Advice for those who would like to live the experience

For those who think about it but are not really sure (upon my return, I will have to repeat the year as I shall be behind a year, and I won’t see my family and friends during ten months), I just want to let know that I don’t regret it; my English is much better than it was 4 months ago – and I still have 6 months left! It’s also a fantastic experience. It’s like I have a second life in America: new family, new friends, new high school…

If I could go back to the moment I made the decision to go, I wouldn’t change anything!


For those who have any questions, don’t hesitate to let me know; it would be a pleasure to hear from you!


 Un grand merci à Serena Tijoriwala pour la correction de cette version anglaise !

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