* e-Toile: Several French professors participated in an academic exchange in the sister cities of Nantes and Jacksonville. Mariette Cassouret, as President of the Association Nantes Seattle Jacksonville, can you describe this program for us?
Mariette Cassouret : We have have had academic exchanges for over 8 years with Seattle and for 2 years with Jacksonville.
We received our first group in Nantes last year and we hope to establish perennial exchanges with Jacksonville and Florida. The objectives of these exchanges are the same as those of our association which aims to be the interface and facilitator for building relationships between young people from both countries and thus, creating strong friendships.
* e-toile : There were 20 students who recently came to Jacksonville.What were the most significant moments for them, in your estimation?
The students from Nantes were received by students from two different establishments: First Coast High School and Mandarin High School. They followed their counterparts in class and shared their activities with them. They also discovered the flora and fauna of the beautiful state of Florida - historical sites: St Augustine, its fort, as well as several communal meals that helped bond the students from Nantes with their «American families».
Those who were at First Coast were also able to attend Prom, which, needless to say, made them very happy to be able to participate in such an American experience.
Those in Mandarin assisted small elementary school students from BOLLES in learning French through the use of games and songs, an experience that they very much appreciated.
* e-toile : What did the French professors learn from the American educational system during their stay and what do you think they will implement upon their return to France within their own school and classes?
The professors from Nantes found that classes in American high schools were much more interesting because they were more vocal, rather than taking notes.
Strong friendship ties were created and some will see each other again during the Summer in France or Florida. We will be receiving in June Dr. Lauren Doyle from Mandarin and Dr. Louise Hunley and her students from First Coast the following year. The results from the experience were extremely positive, as evidenced by the students being in tears at the airport….
Professor of English
President of the association Nantes Seattle Jacksonville
Left to right: Leo Davis - Joanne Davis (DCPS) - Sheila Kloc - Suzanne Marterer - Gerald Marterer (Member of the Board of the "French Alliance of Jacksonville) - François Kloc (Honorary Consul of France in Jacksonville) - Marietta Cassourret (President Nantes Seattle Jacksonville and Professor of English) - Isabelle Le Corguie (English Teacher)
Mariette Carrousset, President of the association Nantes-Seattle - Jacksonville and Francois Kloc, Honorary Consul of France in Jacksonville