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Fresno And Chateauroux Foreign Exchange Program

Central+students+with+French+teacher+Scott+Donaghe+and+Mayor+of+Chateauroux+Gil+Averous++at+the+ceremonial+dinner+to+celebrate+the+signing+of+the+sister+cities.
Central students with French teacher Scott Donaghe and Mayor of Chateauroux Gil Averous  at the ceremonial dinner to celebrate the signing of the sister cities.

Central students with French teacher Scott Donaghe and Mayor of Chateauroux Gil Averous at the ceremonial dinner to celebrate the signing of the sister cities.

Central students with French teacher Scott Donaghe and Mayor of Chateauroux Gil Averous at the ceremonial dinner to celebrate the signing of the sister cities.

Taylor Haas, Staff Writer

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Fresno and France exchange program now live and ready to go. The first 10 Fresno students will be heading to Chateauroux in July of 2017 where they will stay with a host family for 4 weeks. This will be the first time that Fresno students will be able to be involved in this program.

Fresno became the new sister city of Chateauroux, France when Councilwoman Esmeralda Soria and several other city officials attended the meeting of officiation at City Hall. Chateauroux is a small town located about two hours from Paris. Mayor Gil Averous of Chateauroux came to Fresno on February 29 to attend the signing ceremony officiating the two sister cities. The new mayor of Fresno Lee Brand will be signing the official sister city agreement in spring of 2017. Central High School French teacher Scott Donaghe, his wife Andrea Donaghe and a few of his students all went to the ceremony to watch this historical event in the making.

Scott Donaghe helped to bring this program to Central to give the students here an opportunity to travel to France and live with a host family in the summer of July 2017 for 4 weeks and host their French exchange student in October of 2017. The Sister Cities exchange offers opportunities to see different sides of the world and learn about different cultures while offering an unforgettable experience.

Central students have been given an opportunity through the sister cities program to travel to France, experience different cultures and meet new people but to do all of this at a small price.  “This experience throws you into a situation where you have no choice but to adapt,” says Senior Elizabeth Hernandez. Elizabeth will be the first student to participate in this exchange program in June of 2017. She believes that what you learn in France can be incorporated into the way you live when you return to Fresno. Elizabeth can’t wait to go and is super excited to experience all that France has to offer. While she is there she will be skyping with the French classes here and sending live videos to Scott Donaghe to help show how the program is working and what the next group of students has to look forward to.

The program is fully developed and ready to go. Students have to pay for their passport, airfare, family membership in Fresno Sister Cities and a $100 registration that is used to defray the chaperone’s airfare where applicable. If you are interested contact French teacher Scott Donaghe at  [email protected]

40 Comments

40 Responses to “Fresno And Chateauroux Foreign Exchange Program”

  1. Desani Perales on November 30th, 2016 11:30 am

    good job

    [Reply]

  2. Jasmeet Chahal on December 1st, 2016 10:57 am

    This article inspired me to attempt to travel to Chateauroux! It sounds amazing and clearly took a lot of effort to put together. I was wondering whether we can bring other people to Chateauroux, like a family member or a family friend, in case my parents do not permit me to go alone.

    [Reply]

    Monsieur Donaghe Reply:

    Bonsoir Jasmeet. Unfortunately no. However if a friend applies and gets accepted then you would have that person in the same city. Part of the goal of the program is to transform you into a more self-reliable individual. Speaking from personal experience, when I moved to France at the age of 23 it was the best thing ever to be away from all my family and friends because it gave me the confidence to handle a multitude of situations on my own.

    [Reply]

  3. Mackenzie Rhodes on December 1st, 2016 11:01 am

    It’s amazing that a city as small as Fresno is able to do something so big. It really puts us out there as a county and a school to be proud of. A program like this is going to be so beneficial for the students that participate on both sides, the French and the American students. One question I would ask though is how long are the French students going to be staying here in Fresno? Also 4 weeks? Central isn’t just an ag school anymore, it’s much bigger than that.

    [Reply]

    Monsieur Donaghe Reply:

    4 weeks is indeed the length of stay mademoiselle. This coming October the French students will arrive.

    [Reply]

  4. Teddy Bui on December 1st, 2016 11:06 am

    It’s incredible seeing that people will be able to travel across the world and experience the profound taste of seeing and living a new culture and meeting new people. Often times I find that many of us live within our own small confined worlds of where we live in and sometimes our world doesn’t expand past living in California or maybe even in our own cities like Fresno, so seeing a opportunity like this is exceptional. I can only hope that this programs get bigger because in terms of learning experience, it really could open up your mind to more of the world and be more accepting of the different varieties in life. This program could really push people to want to start and learn about more cultures in general as if they could see life in France and interact with the people there, they could see that there is much more to be explored. Furthermore, the importance of this simple exchange program certainly opens up an endless array of possibilities for more foreign languages in school and maybe even more exchange programs and that should be the goal of utmost importance when it comes to education so I’m glad we have something like this.

    I wonder if the exchange program could continue to develop to allow more students to be given this opportunity. I’d like to see how this experience could change the perception of someone’s life. Elizabeth’s comment in particular made me think as she believes that “what you learn in France can be incorporated into the way you live when you return to Fresno.” So it’d be fascinating exactly how her way of life may have changed after her experiences in France. Personally never having traveled out of state or country, I’d like to see how much it has changed someone’s else life as it may motivate me to try and travel one day myself.

    [Reply]

  5. Monica Boyd on December 1st, 2016 11:07 am

    I think this is a very good opportunity that students at Central are getting. Not very many schools have this chance to get to travel and explore like we do. Students should take advantage of this opportunity and learn about a different culture that you don’t know much about which this trip will give you.

    [Reply]

  6. perla rosales on December 1st, 2016 11:07 am

    Amazing job Taylor! But I would like to know if there’s even a whole lot of foreign exchange students in this school? Also, how much did this program cost? i wish you guys the best though, hope you all have lots of fun while participating in this!

    [Reply]

  7. Jerome Gardner on December 1st, 2016 11:08 am

    To be honest, I feel like any country that is sharing anything with you, is special because not that many people in the world would want to be apart of the Fresno community and it’s a good thing because we can learn from this experience as well.

    How do you feel about Fresno being involved in this program?

    [Reply]

  8. pardeep ghag on December 1st, 2016 11:08 am

    How many times can you go to France using this program? This article has really good information for kids who are interested in going to France and imagine how happy the French kids were when they got the news to go to the USA

    [Reply]

  9. Chris Bohanna on December 1st, 2016 11:08 am

    I think this is a great opportunity for young people to go experience a different atmosphere. Especially if they are taking a French Course for them to be in an actual French speaking community. I think this is a great idea for young French speaking enthusiast and should think about attending this great program. Will this program extend their range and go into different cities in France ?

    [Reply]

  10. Gladys Zamora on December 1st, 2016 11:09 am

    This is such an amazing opportunity for central not only for the students but for the school to get known for. I feel really excited for the students being able to go to Chateauroux. This is absolutely amazing!

    [Reply]

  11. Ryan Pham on December 1st, 2016 11:10 am

    I believe this program is a exciting and new experience that us students could learn from. This program could be the chance for many students to view the world outside of Fresno and learn about Chatearoux, France. I congratulate on launching the program and hope it is successful. The only questions that cross my mind would be if the program might be launched again in later years. Another question would be that if the program might expand to other countries or cities as well. Otherwise great work on the program and the article, and thank you for reading. Great work on the article by the way Taylor H.

    [Reply]

    Monsieur Donaghe Reply:

    Bonsoir Ryan, Fresno Sister Cities has other city exchange programs available. Google them to see your other options.

    [Reply]

  12. Alexis Johnon on December 1st, 2016 11:10 am

    I understand that this program will take steps in making sure that finances are at a reasonable cost. However, will the amount of students able attend this exchange program (currently 10 as stated) ever (should I say) grow? Even slightly, such as from 10 to 11 or even to 15. To keep costs low, I understand if it must stay the same or lower.

    [Reply]

    Monsieur Donaghe Reply:

    Year one is 10 students. Year two will double to 20. And it may continue to grow depending upon the students’ experiences on both sides and the word of mouth that it generates Alexis.

    [Reply]

  13. David Gonzalez on December 1st, 2016 11:11 am

    Good job on the article! I really like the fact that kids from Central get to go to France. Especially since our city Fresno is a small city and doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. There is not always an opportunity like that so when there is i will participate it in. I would like to know more about the whole full price for the trip because i would like to go to Chateauroux, France.

    [Reply]

    Monsieur Donaghe Reply:

    See me for an application David!

    [Reply]

  14. Poonam Sidhu on December 1st, 2016 11:12 am

    I really love this idea, because it gives a chance for students to visit a new country. It gives a chance for students to be part of something that Central hasn’t done before and it gives the students a chance to adapt to new culture, experiences, adapt to a new environment, meet new people and make new memories. I am looking forward too going and meeting new people and plus it is a fun experience too go to another country on your own. I really love this idea, glad to be able to get this opportunity like this. Some questions i have is, why is only 10 people allowed to go?

    [Reply]

    Monsieur Donaghe Reply:

    Bonsoir Poonam,
    Year one will be 10 students to start off with. Year two will double to 20 or 25. From there it will just depend upon the level of interest of French students on both sides.

    [Reply]

  15. Geovany Calderon on December 1st, 2016 11:12 am

    This is an amazing opportunity for central students to go to another country and learn about their customs and their culture. How exciting!

    Do you think this will open up the option for Central students to not only go to Chateauroux but different countries around the world?

    [Reply]

  16. Solome' Lubbers on December 1st, 2016 11:12 am

    Love how you interview the students on their thoughts and how you are very informed on the topic.
    Will there be any fundraisers to help the students go to France?

    [Reply]

    Monsieur Donaghe Reply:

    Oui! If you would like to go to Châteauroux, I have applications.

    [Reply]

  17. Tristen Winfrey on December 1st, 2016 11:13 am

    I like the fact that it’s very cheap. This seems to an amazing opportunity for french students to learn not only a foreign but a completely different culture.

    [Reply]

  18. Jonathan Vang on December 1st, 2016 11:13 am

    I think its amazing that we could have an chance to go to Chateauroux. I also think that its interesting that the students from France can come here and experience everything we have to offer. What can we do to get this chance to go to Chateauroux?

    [Reply]

    Monsieur Donaghe Reply:

    See me for an application! I have them.

    [Reply]

  19. Trinity Her on December 1st, 2016 11:15 am

    Very detailed. You gave in a lot of many specific description for the readers to understand, staying on topic and, willing to know and learn more about the foreign student exchange transfer happening between Fresno and Chateauroux on June 2017. Added onto a very good background of how Fresno first came in compact with Chateauroux from step by step and the students very own opinion and thoughts based on the exchange transfer. And how the sister city became involve from the very beginning.

    [Reply]

  20. Jenny Cortez Rincon on December 1st, 2016 11:16 am

    Great job !!!! This is a excellent article . The fact that students will have the chance to visit a place they have never been to before can help them adapt to new cultures and can get them involved in more activities . Meeting new people that speak a new language will have the students wanting to learn the language . What background checks do they run in order to know if the students will be safe ??

    [Reply]

    Monsieur Donaghe Reply:

    The Mayor’s office in Châteauroux runs a full background check and a house visitation to ensure student safety.

    [Reply]

  21. April Metz on December 1st, 2016 11:16 am

    I think its so cool and an amazing experience that Central gets a chance to travel to Chateauroux. This opportunity is an amazing teaching experience too, by engaging the students to travel and to speak french. Its a great way to learn what they do and how they live on a daily basis.

    [Reply]

  22. Vanessa Cano on December 1st, 2016 11:16 am

    Wow Taylor Haas thank you for this information. Being able to now travel with friends from school to Chateauroux is unbelievable. This chance that is being given is great. Not only will we be able to expierience and see France but we can learn alot of things from there. The families that they will be staying at will hopefully also be transmitting a lot of french to the students that will be going.

    My question is will we be able to tour around when being over their?

    [Reply]

    Monsieur Donaghe Reply:

    Oui! You will see many sites. The French are very proud of what their city and country have to offer!

    [Reply]

  23. Zhoan Moua on December 1st, 2016 11:17 am

    This article was great and will hopefully encourage students to participate in this program. Though there is a limitation of 10 Fresno Central students. There might be many students that want to participate in this program but it’s first come, first serve. Other than that, this is a good opportunity to experience what it is like in France and possibly improve your French speaking. Since this is the first time students will be going to Chateauroux, it will have a significant effect on their lives and that there is a world of wonders out there.

    [Reply]

  24. israel cano on December 1st, 2016 11:18 am

    I think this is a great opportunity for students who want to expand there language and want to travel to france to learn the culture of the french people. I say this is wonderful and is for sure a opportunity that has been well thought out for the staff and exchange students. I think its a great idea and that many students would be interested to go and enjoy the way to france. My only concern is that if we would be able to bring a family member to enjoy the experience with and also for safety reasons to do with health? By the way great job on the article on presenting the exchange program.

    [Reply]

  25. Jaimie Harris on December 1st, 2016 11:18 am

    I think this exchange program is a great idea! I feel this program is helping french students be able to actual be in France and around french people! Also i think this expands french teaching to a whole new level. This is a great chance for me to get more interested in the french language. Thanks for expanding on this topic.

    [Reply]

  26. Aliyah Thomas on December 1st, 2016 11:19 am

    I think that this program is very beneficial and good for our student and a great way to expand education, however I do wish that this program could have advanced sooner. Because the seniors, who would’ve been extremely interested, will miss out.

    I would like to know more about the transportation process, will the exchange program link up with an airline, that will arrange a spot for the student traveling, so they could all go together and pay through the program as a whole? Or will students have to buy separate tickets and make independent purchases, which won’t guarantee them travel together.

    [Reply]

    Monsieur Donaghe Reply:

    Great question mademoiselle! Let me look into it. But I’m pretty sure that Fresno Sister City negotiates a group discount that all students would then purchase for the best price so that they can travel as a unit.

    [Reply]

  27. Oralia Gil Sierra on December 1st, 2016 11:20 am

    In my point of view I think this article is a great way to get informed about programs like these which I would say this one is a big one for french high school students. This article gave me good information about the program and is a great way to learn french by going to France. Its also great to know our french teacher put this all together for many students dreams, being their for 4 week is a dream for any of us taking french and many more people. This would be a great experience for many of us and its a great opportunity that we should take.
    Will this opportunity be given every year ?

    [Reply]

    Monsieur Donaghe Reply:

    Bonsoir Mademoiselle Oralia. I came along in the process after all the hard work and ground work had been laid. My role is and has been informing teachers and students of this wonderful opportunity and keeping in contact with the Mayor’s Office in Châteauroux.

    [Reply]

  28. Ximena Bautista on December 1st, 2016 11:21 am

    I really enjoyed this article very informative about the amazing things our one and only French teacher has done to give us this huge opportunity to go to Chateauroux, France and spend probably the best four weeks of our lives living a huge dream . Being able to learn more french from people that are actually from France. The best part of all is that the host family that we will stay at will be on vacation so we will spend more time with the whole family , more activities, have very interesting conversations with them and just simply have so much fun.
    Who helped you with this article? Did you do all this by yourself ?

    [Reply]

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