Victoria Chiaburu is in love with French


A picture of Victoria, her host sister, and other people she met in France

Freshman Victoria Chiaburu was walking the streets of Colmar, France, when her host family started to pretend to be American tourists pointing at buildings and saying “American phrases.” 

“We went to Colmar, and it was really fun there because I got to know my exchange [family] and my host student a lot better,” Victoria said. “They were kind of making fun of Americans and American tourists. So, they would see a place and would be like, ‘Oh my God.’ They had these French accents, so it was really funny.” 

a picture of a building in Paris

Victoria was part of an eight-day exchange trip; she went to France and lived with a host family in Strasbourg for a few days before going to stay in Paris. She was able to sightsee and also get a glimpse of the average life of frenchmen. This was part of a program that runs every two years that the French teachers advertise.

Even though her host family poked fun at Americans, Victoria claims French people do not diverge from people in the United States all that much. Victoria believes this knowledge was the biggest takeaway from her exchange trip. 

“People in other countries are very different from how we are, but they are [also] definitely similar to us [in the U.S.],” Victoria said. “I’m not really sure [how to explain it]; it’s like they’re similar to us, but they’re also different at the same time. It was really fun to be able to experience that.”

While I was [in France], the people that I interacted with were all really great, and they were really interesting

— Victoria

Victoria was always interested in the French language; her desire to learn the language stemmed from her wanting to know more about the people and culture in France. Her trip only helped her love for the language and her wish to understand their way of life. She now hopes to visit France again and perhaps study abroad there when she is older.

Victoria was able to meet new people and experience a glimpse of life in a different country. This trip has encouraged her love for the French language to grow even more. She is in French Two (having taken French One in middle school) and is looking to continue all the way to AP French for her senior year. 

Victoria is not fluent in French, but she was still able to make connections with the people she met there and understand bits and pieces. She hopes when she goes back she will understand even more so she can strengthen the bonds she has already laid the foundation for. 

 “While I was [in France], the people that I interacted with were all really great, and they were really interesting,” Victoria said. “And they’re just really fun to be around. So that made me want to connect more with them. Since I don’t speak that much French, it was kind of difficult to speak with people who don’t speak English, so I’d like to learn more French so that I can communicate more with those people.”