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Antoine Briard: Experiencing Something New

Antoine Briard, 11, works on a paper in class. Briard is a foreign exchange student from Paris, France.

Dalton Mix

Antoine Briard, 11, works on a paper in class. Briard is a foreign exchange student from Paris, France.

Ashley Bow, Personality Editor

Junior Antoine Briard takes a deep breath as he stepped off the plane. He hurries down to grab his luggage. When he steps outside the gate, he sees the “Welcome to Texas, Antoine” sign before he saw his new family, and a huge grin spreads across his face.

He’s ready for his 10 month stay in Texas to begin.

“I was so excited to meet them,” Briard said. “I [would] be living with them in their house for 10 months, and it was the first time I was actually talking to them.”

Foreign exchange student Briard came to America from Paris, France with the goal of learning to speak English. After beginning school this year, Briard actually found the work in America easier than in France, largely due to the smaller amount of homework he has received during his time here.

“In France, you have to work one hour every day on homework. It’s like you have another class at home,” Briard said. “[There,] when you don’t have homework, you party. Here, when you have homework, it’s like ‘ugh.’”

Briard has noted multiple differences in the culture between America and France. These differences range from the warm weather to cultural stigma on cigarettes. One of the most striking, he believes, is the fact that stores stay open late into the evening and on Sundays. In France, stores are rarely allowed to open on Sundays but many are open 24/7 in America.

“In France, a shop can’t open more than six hours during Sunday,” Briard said. “It’s cool [that] you have shops open during the night and during Sunday.”

America also has many more fast food chains than France. Of them, Briard has come to enjoy Wendy’s the most. He first ate Wendy’s food just after arriving in Texas and has come to see it as his favorite fast food.

“For real, America is cool like everything — like the food, like Wendy’s,” Briard said. “Wendy’s is so good. [It’s the] best fast food.”

Of course, for all America’s good points, Briard does miss some things about France, especially the people he left behind. However, he feels the move turned out well. After all, he had the opportunity to immerse himself in an entirely new culture and learn a foreign language at the same time.

“America is awesome. It’s a great country,” Briard said. “I [am having] a really good time.”

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