Responding from 5,177 miles away

After four months of waiting, French students receive letters from Lille, France


Aimee Bozoudes

The envelope which contained the letters being received from Lille. The other schools in the district including Rouse, Vandegrift, and Vista Ridge are also participating in three other schools in different parts of Lille.

by Aimee Bozoudes, Staff Writer

The French classes taught by Madame Eden Davis had sent 26 letters back in the late fall of 2015 to a french counterpart school in Lille, France. But, it wasn’t until mid-February that letters were received back from the higher level English classes in Lille.

“I wasn’t exactly sure what it was going to be like but I was excited to write to someone so far,” senior IB French student Alexa Urrea said. ”When I received the letter it caught me completely by surprise. I actually had forgotten I had a penpal all the way in France. It was really eye opening because it was super cool to see what his interests were and a lot of the things mentioned are popular here in the US too.”

While the exchange of communication has led to a few grammatical errors on both sides, it has been received with two letters back from Lille. This has given both schools the opportunity to interact and compare how students 5,177 miles away can relate today in modern culture.

The students were very pleased to get an actual letter from France,” Madame Davis said.More students wrote letters, and a few students wrote several new letters in addition to the one they answered. I think it would be great to establish a lasting friendship with this French school, and for some of our students to have international friends as well. It’s how inter-cultural barriers are removed: the realization that people are more like us than they are different from us around the world.”

It’s how inter-cultural barriers are removed: the realization that people are more like us than they are different from us around the world

— Madame Davis

Months upon months of coordination and time-zone differences later, a teacher representative from Lille, Monsieur. François Fourcault, will be visiting the Madame Davis’s French students after Spring Break as other letters have been written and will be sent back to Lille soon.

I’m in the process of responding to his letter right now. I want to learn more about his daily life and see if it’s similar to what I do here,” Urrea said. “I am also eager to learn about what France is like. Like what his school day is like, how electives word, stuff like that. I just hope to learn more about life in France in general and the things the students over there have in common.”