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Student Spotlight: Chloe Edwards '24

Student Spotlight: Chloe Edwards '24

This past spring, Father Ryan High School and the Edwards family hosted Liz Benoist '25 as an exchange student from France. This summer, rising Senior Chloe Edwards traveled to Loches, France, to participate in a similar study abroad program at Saint-Denis, a boarding school for international students. Chloe’s thoughts on her experience are below.

“This year, I had a fantastic opportunity to study abroad in France for a few weeks! I attended Saint-Denis in Loches, about two hours from Paris. I have been looking forward to this trip since Monsieur Oelhafen proposed the idea many months prior. I knew from the moment he mentioned it that this was a journey I wanted to take part in.

I have been taking French since the seventh grade, and I am now looking forward to my Senior year of high school! Since my mother is part Belgian, I have grown up with French influence. I have always known that I wanted to go to France and speak fluently like my mother, but without being fully immersed, I knew it would be a challenging milestone to reach. I am beyond grateful that I could take this opportunity to study abroad with Father Ryan to fulfill my passion for learning about the French language, culture, and teenage experience.

I would recommend taking an opportunity like this to anyone. Saint-Denis is not just a boarding school for French students; it is an international school filled with diverse people. I enjoyed meeting and making friends from Germany, Spain, Ireland, Mexico, Japan, Britain, and several other countries. Despite being from entirely different backgrounds, we are all just teenagers who love and want the same things. Although we spoke different languages and lived in different countries, we all had the same interests and hobbies. I learned so much about how other teenagers live in other places, and the similarities and differences fascinated me!

School in France is drastically different than it is in the US. Saint-Denis started at 8:00am and typically ended around 5:00pm and sometimes later. My dorm was off campus, so after school, we’d take a bus back and eat dinner. I loved bonding with my fellow students during dinner and spending our free time together.

My favorite class was French Class (the French version of English class in the US). English Class was a relief for me. I got to take breaks from speaking and thinking in French. In France, the students learn British English, not American English, which is unsurprisingly different. I was embarrassed when we played a Kahoot in English Class, and I placed 4th…. I was one of two Native English speakers in the class.

I thoroughly enjoyed my experience going to school in another country, and I wished I could have stayed longer. I can only summarize my trip in so many words, and I cannot overstate how grateful I was to be given this opportunity. I hope to see more Father Ryan students participate in it!

My mother and I were also able to visit my family in Belgium! It was my first-time meeting most of them, but it felt like I’d known them my entire life. My second cousin and I, Charline, are only a year apart, and meeting her was a dream come true. I have all boy cousins, so it was awesome getting to connect with her! The last two I will mention are my second cousin Aurore and her daughter Lizéa. I have stayed in contact with them since my return and will hopefully revisit them next year!

Once again, this opportunity has shaped my perspective on my future and my life in indescribable measures. I hope that sharing this experience will inspire future Father Ryan students to pursue their passions, despite how far you must travel for them.”

  • Academics