Heading Home Foreign exchange student Noé Clavier shares the story of his year being cut short by coronavirus.

Q: First of all, where do you live?

A: I live in Angers, a city in the Northwest part of France. (3 hours from Paris)

Q: Did you face any difficulties getting home due to travel restrictions?

A: I took 2 flights to go home. I flew from Chicago to Amsterdam first. The second flight from Amsterdam to Paris was delayed so I had to wait 4 hours instead of 2 in Amsterdam’s airport but that is the only difficulty I faced.

Q: How are you continuing your education? Are you participating in online school through Homestead or where you live?

A: I dropped my classes at Homestead and I joined a group of students that has the same classes in my French high school. As my scholar year at Homestead doesn’t count, I should be a junior in my French high school but I’m, until summer break, a sophomore (it’s easier for my school that way). As I was already a sophomore before I left for the USA, everything I’m doing until summer break doesn’t count, so I haven’t done a lot of online homework since I left to be honest!

Q: How did you initially feel learning about the coronavirus pandemic while in the United States?

A: I didn’t feel scared or worried about the coronavirus at first. One of my AFS friends was in China and had to come home way earlier, in January I believe. But at that time I didn’t think at all that I was going to have to come back home because of the virus too.

Q: How is the response to the pandemic different in your country when compared to what you are seeing and hearing about in the U.S.?

A: Back home in France, the quarantine was way more strict than from what I heard was happening in Wisconsin. We couldn’t leave our home at all except for groceries or any emergencies and almost everything was closed. But it’s over now and slowly getting back to normal.

Q: Are there any other challenges you have faced or interesting stories you would like to share?

A: I haven’t faced any other difficulties. The only challenge I am facing right now is to find the American food that I am missing in France (and it’s tough to find the right cheese to make mac n cheese!).


Created with an image by Nil Castellví - "Paris buildings with clouds"