Student Culture

Get to know the French Exchange Students

By: Michelle Li (Grade 11)

Say “salut!” to our new friends all the way from France!

Chepas,” “pas ouf,” and the occasional “chelou” are French phrases you may have heard intertwined in fluent conversations filtering through the hallways this past month. They’re said with an accent too good to be your average Grade 9 student frantically rehearsing for their oral presentation. Yet, they are also spoken with a voice that doesn’t match the pitch of any local French teachers. So, who do these voices belong to?

Introducing WPGA’s very own French exchange students: Lison, Ludivine, and Maëlys– three new members of the wolf pack who come all the way from a small town in the French countryside called Evron. They are part of the school’s brand new GATEWAY exchange program and we could not be more excited to have them. They speak English, so don’t worry – you don’t have to bashfully whip out the awkward “pardon, je ne parle pas beaucoup Français” in order to have a conservation. In case you haven’t had the opportunity to chat with them, here’s a quick introduction to learn more about these bright new faces.


Lison Girault – Desmond Chen’s exchange partner

Favourite colour and food: Grey/Italian dishes

Birthday/sign: November 18/Scorpio

Fun Fact: Her mother is an English teacher in France!

How has the exchange been so far? 

“Everything is exciting, and it is very interesting to see a different way to live, to study, and even to teach. I really like being here, and I want to thank everyone for making this project so great!” 


What are some highlights from your experience in Vancouver so far?

“I think that flying over Vancouver Island with Desmond’s family was one of the most awesome things I have ever done. Everything I’ve done here in Vancouver so far has been so good. Everyone is very nice to all three of us which is so pleasant… thank you!”

Lison is open-minded, clever, and a perfectionist. Having been a member of a basketball team in France, she’s a committed player, so keep your eyes out for a new wolf joining the court. An individual of many talents, Lison is also interested in all of the sciences. Together with Desmond, she has had the opportunity to try different restaurants and fly in planes as well. She’s compassionate, funny, and very energetic, so make sure to say hi to her in the hallways! 




Ludivine Renou-Huet – Julia Huber’s exchange partner

Favourite colour/food: Green/ratatouille or chicken

Birthday/sign: September 2/Virgo

Fun Fact: She loves the songs “Slow Dancing in a Burning Room” by John Mayer and “Stand by Me” by Ben E. King. 

How has the exchange been so far? 

“It’s all very new, but it’s so interesting and really great.”

What are some highlights from your experience in Vancouver so far? 

“Vancouver is completely different from our town. It’s really nice to discover a lot of new things. At WPGA the relationship between teachers and students and the work environment is very different for us. It’s the complete opposite to our school in France as the community is much closer here. So far, it’s been a very good stay and I try to enjoy everything.”

Ludivine looks at life with excitement, curiosity, and determination. From classical harmonies to rock anthems, she loves to play the cello – her true passion. She enjoys spending her weekends going on bike rides, hiking up Grouse Mountain, or trying new foods with Julia. Back in France, she specializes in geopolitics, social studies, and mathematics. She’s the type of person who would enthusiastically dance and sing at the top of her lungs to Queen. Don’t miss out on the chance to get to know her! 



Maëlys Berthout – Michelle Li’s (that’s me!) exchange partner

Favourite colour and food: White, blue, yellow, orange and red/pizza and sushi now!

Birthday/sign: February 21/Pisces

Fun Fact: She studied Latin in France with Ludivine.

How has the exchange been so far? 

“Everyone is so kind here. Everything is really different from France, but I’m feeling really comfortable in the school, thanks to how caring all the teachers and students are. I’ve met a lot of good people here! I think that I can say that I have some new friends now. And obviously I’m very happy to have Michelle as my exchange partner and I can’t wait for when she will meet my family and friends.” 

What are some highlights from your experience in Vancouver so far? 

“The kindness of everyone is a real important point here, and so are all the beautiful landscapes! The food here is so good.”

Maëlys, more commonly known as Mae, is open-minded, inquisitive, and kind-hearted. A very family-oriented person, you’ll likely overhear her speaking about her wonderful older sister, Océane, or her adorable cocker spaniel, Canelle. Though passionate about literature and philosophy, Mae also has a knack for drawing. We enjoy activities such as visiting the neighbourhood dog park, sketching, or even jamming out to Christmas songs in October. She’s like a sister to me and with her caring yet playful personality, I hope you all become friends with her too! 


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