Astree, a Trimester student from France, is a sophomore in high school in Milford, Massachusetts.

Astree’s Local Coordinator, Liz, describes her as a wonderful student who is positive and enthusiastic about becoming involved in new things.

“Astree takes an experience and makes the most out of it.  Her quick adjustment here in America has inspired a lot of other students. They have seen how well she has adjusted in such a short amount of time. This has inspired them to take risks and accept similar challenges!” she shares.

Liz is an Italian teacher in the high school, and she recalls how Astree became interested in the Sons of Italy, a social club that promotes Italian culture.  “I introduced Astree to some of the students in my class who are studying Italian, and one of them introduced her to the club,” she says.

“Haley told me about the program, and we get along really well. So, I joined!  I have met a lot of new friends in the club, and I enjoy making connections with them and others at school,” says Astree.

She has attended several fun and educational events hosted by the Sons of Italy including making pasta, karaoke singing in Italian, learning traditional Italian dancing, and Trivia game night. “We also made a video where we would fake sing with the music.  It’s called Viddub, and it’s really fun!” she recalls.

This is actually Astree’s fifth time visiting the United States. “I really like Massachusetts. It is really cool. I also like the style of my host family’s house.  It is so different from the homes in France,” she observes.

Astree recalls her favorite memory on the Trimester program thus far:

“My host family took me to visit Harvard University. It has been a dream for me to actually go there, and my dream came true! It’s much bigger than the schools in France, and the way of thinking is much different too. At Harvard, when you are part of the school, you become a member of a community. The people were very nice.”

She shares that actually not one, but two of her dreams have come true during this experience. The second was attending a baseball game in America.

“My host family took me to a Paw Sox game, and it was cool because in France my family and I sometimes go to rugby games. The best part were the hot dogs! We don’t get to eat hot dogs at sports games in France (laughs)!”

Astree shares that her PSE experience has made her more confident as a person.

“This experience has helped my English improve and has given me an opportunity to learn more about myself and become more independent,” she reflects.

Astrees host mother, Lisa, describes her as a very happy, polite, and agreeable young lady. She shares, “Astree takes ballet back in France, and she loves to dance. I love watching her dance (ballet moves) around the kitchen!”  Some of their favorite family activities are watching movies, playing card games, and hiking. Lisa says although their family is low key, they do enjoy having daily conversations at the dinner table. She enjoys learning about Astree’s life experiences, and especially how life in France is very different from American life.

“Astree is such a nice combination of academics and creativity. She has made some fun videos of her travels and is keeping a journal, while she’s here in America, that include some original drawings,” says Lisa.

In the future, Astree would like to become a doctor who analyzes the effects of space on astronauts’ bodies. Her American dream would be to attend Harvard University because the school is known worldwide, and she was able to visit the campus. For now, she looks forward to spending more quality time with her friends here in America such as going to the mall, entertainment center, and to movies.

Lisa sends a special message to those who are considering hosting a student:

“The hosting experience has given our family a unique opportunity to learn about other cultures and family traditions. We’ve traveled to France, but it brings forth a completely different understanding when you’re getting to know a young person through their own life experiences, a young person who has their whole life ahead of them! It’s a very rewarding experience.”

Liz shares, “Astree is very interested in travel and different cultures.  I look forward to seeing where that interest takes her!”

We wish Astree the best in all her endeavors and look forward to hearing more about her journey.

Written by Flo Ruiz; Edited by Ann Steffen

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