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Local students make a French connection

It has been difficult getting over the language barrier, Stasior said, but said the French

students have been very friendly.

"It's hard to translate but they're really nice and open to talking and answering questions," she said. "They're really fun."

The program was started by World Language Department Chair and Director of Global Studies Initiative Donna Keegan after she contacted the school a year and a half ago when discussing it with Olivier Benthou, the English Teacher at Lycee Saint Francois-Xavier. He was not able to come over with his students.

Keegan said she feels there it is crucial to develop a cross-cultural understanding with her students, especially after living abroad herself for a

number of years.

"I lived in France for three years of my life, and I learned more, not only about France and Europe, but I learned an incredible amount about my own country," she said. "And I think it's a really important experience for students in this global economy we're living in to go and really live and experience something in a very authentic manner."

Keegan said Staisor suggested she get involving in the program, saying she's excited to go over to France, though she has been learning Spanish as her foreign language.

"I've always wanted to go to Paris and see all of France," she said. "When I heard our school was hosting a trip, I was really excited and I wanted to go."

In addition to attending classes with their host students, the French students had already visited New York City and saw Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. On Friday, Feb. 25, the students took a tour of Corning Tower in Albany and were able to meet the mayor, and enjoyed a Mardi gras dance put together by Albany Academies students.

"There's sledding activities, bowling and there's lots of other activities for them," said Keegan. "The other major thing that they'll be doing is they'll also be going to a public school [Mohonasen Central School District] so they can see an American public school and an American private school."

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