This is the fourth article in the 2018-19 academic year series ‘Opening our homes and minds: West Hartford’s AFS foreign exchange students and their host families.’
Interviewed and edited by Jamie Cohen, AFS volunteer (now), host sister (1980s) and returnee from Japan (1984)
Meet Axel Hubert from Souchez, in the north of France. He is one of the eight AFS foreign exchange students at West Hartford high schools this school year.
Hi, Axel! Tell us about yourself.
I’m a junior at Conard and living with a great host family. I love them. Also, I love to dance, and have been dancing for 10 years.
Why did you want to be an AFS exchange student?
I really wanted to improve my English. And, I think it’s good to be far from your family for a year. I’m very close to my family, but when you are far from them, you learn to love them even more than before.
Did you choose the U.S.?
The U.S. is a very popular country and I wanted to discover it. Also because of the theater – we don’t have much theater in France. I want to discover more about musicals and theater.
What are the biggest cultural differences between France and here?
I think that the food is the most different – I think American foods are quite sweet, and I think I still prefer French food. But the houses are very different – in France we have a lot of houses built out of bricks, and the houses here are much bigger. I love it.
What have you liked about Connecticut and West Hartford?
I think it’s a very nice town, very pretty. It’s so different – so green with a lot of trees. I love the entrances to the streets around town. It’s like a dream.
What do you do outside of school here?
I’m in the drama club at Conard and have a part in the fall play. I’m also doing a musical, “Once On This Island,” with Connecticut Family Theater. I have a big role, and I’m a dance captain. I’m very excited. I hope everyone will come and see it in December!
[Editor’s Note: Connecticut Family Theatre will perform “Once on this Island” on Dec. 7-9 and Dec. 14-16. Click here for more details.]
What would you like people reading this to know about:
France: It’s a beautiful country, and French people are very nice. You have to try French foods.
Hosting an AFS exchange student: If you want to host, you should be prepared to share everything with the student. You have to include him in your family.It’s important so that the student feels like a part of the family.
Being an AFS exchange student: If you want to be an exchange student, you have to be very open. You can’t be ashamed of going up to people and meeting them – you need to be adventurous. Try it! Enjoy!
If you are interested in hosting an exchange student for the 2018-19 school year, or if your high-school aged student would like to participate in an AFS exchange, please contact Jamie Cohen at [email protected] or visit AFSUSA.org.
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