A Stranger in America

By Lucie Godefroy


Gastronomy and stereotypes



United States


Don’t get me wrong, I love hamburgers and of course I know that it is a big stereotype to think that Americans only eat hamburgers but its hard to deny the hamburger is the main representation of food in America to foreigners. It’s just like how outsiders view cuisine in France, we don’t eat just cheese, bread and wine (even though that would be great in my opinion). The food here in America definitely is different and the adjustment has been very complicated but I guess this is part of the exchange student experience.


What I see back home

What I see in New York

The landscape is something that is also very different, in south of France you won’t find gigantic buildings, yellow cabs or Starbucks at every corner. New York is the city that never sleeps, in France, we sleep. But don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the city. I have ventured in quite a few times since arriving and the amazement is still there every time I go.

Life on campus is another aspect that is new for me. In France, we don’t live on campus, we live near the campus in our own apartment, with our own cooking, etc. Its very exciting and helps you develop as a human being and become more independent. The on campus lifestyle is very unusual to me, the idea of sharing a room with someone, a suite with 5 other people, caf food.

Having letter grades or being graded out of 100 is a very foreign concept as well. For us, it’s graded out of a 20 and it has been this way since the day I started school.

The grade system for us? Total Gibberish. The US system of grade actually makes way more sense than our system in France. We work upside down, with letters and numbers all mixed up.

1st grade → CP         2nd grade→ CE1     3rd grade→CE2      4th grade →CM1    5th grade→ CM2  

6th grade→6eme     7th grade→5eme   8th grade→4eme   9th grade→3eme   10th grade→Seconde(2nd)

11th grade→Première(1ere)  12th grade→Terminale


When you think of France you see

Some of you might have been to other parts of France but Paris is probably what you think of when you think about going to France. Hint: it’s not the most beautiful place in France, you should come and visit the South.


When we think of the US we see


I know, stereotypes again, but when you don’t know specific places you only imagine what you see in movies.

American life has been great so far, and I am very excited to see other places in the United States; countryside or cities, I am so eager to visit as much as I can here.

Awaiting the imminent snowfall, I’ll write again when winter begins.