La vie on campus: a glimpse into a French mind


By Alagra Bass

Leslie Adam is an exchange student from France. Despite her busy schedule, we tracked her down  so we could share some of her “world views” with you!


Where are you from?

I am from Lille, in the north of France; I study there and live in a small town twenty minutes from my school.


How did you end up at Union? How did you hear about it?

I am an exchange student and I’m here for two terms. My school has a partnership with Union, and I knew I wanted to go the U.S.A. for my year abroad. It was actually the second best school in the U.S. I could go to.


Compare France with the United States.

I like both France and here. Right now I’m really happy to be here, and I would not go back after such a short period. I’ve always wanted to study for a year in the U.S. so I’m just going to enjoy being here!


What are some of your favorite American experiences thus far?

I’ve been in Union for four weeks now, but before that I spent the summer working at Walt Disney World in Florida. I was really happy to be in the U.S. on the Fourth of July to see how proud Americans are of their country. I’ve experienced Florida’s rain which is absolutely different from the rain in France…it’s shorter, but more intense! I’ve loved all the cities I’ve visited: Orlando, Miami, Key West, Daytona, and NYC. All these cities are so much bigger than the cities in France. Other favorite experiences before I forget: The Baconator from Wendy’s, Oreos, and Pop Tarts!


Does most of your family still live in France? How do you deal with the distance?

Yes, all my family lives in France. I got used to being away from everyone this summer. The best way to keep in touch is definitely Skype! It’s so convenient.


What two things would you change about Union? About the U.S.? About France?

I wish my school in France had a real campus, because what we call campus is actually three buildings next to each other. I also wish I had less classes in France (about 20 hours per week). Concerning Union, I hate all the homework we have to do! It’s really cool that we just have nine hours per week, but I think I prefer having more classes and less homework. Another thing I would change is keeping Upper and West open later! In France we eat at 8 or 9 p.m. so having dinner at 6 or 7 is too early for me.


What are some of your favorite things to do?

I love doing shopping, partying, reading, and seeing my friends. I’m also really good at spending hours on Skype with my family and friends in France.


What do you miss about France?

I miss French food! Even if the bacon, egg and cheese croissant in Reamer is good, it’s not the best croissant ever. You can’t imagine how I miss foie gras, champagne, wine, French cheese, baguettes, etc…


All you staying on campus for the winter break?

I’ll be going back to Orlando to see some friends, going to NYC with one of my friends who’s  at Cornell right now, and hopefuly traveling around the states!


What is your major?

My major in France is business management, but here at Union, there’s no business program. So here I’m taking Spanish and Managerial Economics. I’m also taking an MBA course in international business at Union’s graduate school.


Where do you see yourself in five years?

In five years I see myself working in marketing, hopefully for a German car company (Porsche, Audi, BMW)—so maybe living in Germany, France or even here.


Share something you’ve learned from your experience in France.

Try to travel and learn languages because it’s the best way to learn about other people and peoples— you really become open-minded.


What activities do you plan on getting involved with this year?

This year I am joining the ballroom club. I already started and I love it so much! I also plan to be involved in ­­­­­­­­ French club.


What’s the biggest difference about schools here and schools in France?

As I told you earlier, here you have about 10 hours of class per week and lots of homework, and in France you have 20 to 25 hours of class, but just a little homework. In France, you cannot eat in class, and you cannot drink anything but water in the library, classrooms, or labs. Students are not supposed to leave class at anytime. We also participate less than here at Union; during class in France, we just listen, take notes, and sometimes answer a question if we are personally asked.


What’s something you would like to share with the campus?

If someone wants to go to France this year or next year, feel free to contact me to know more about the country or schools—whatever you might want to know!


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