Olivia Solano

In the fall of 2019, for my 211 French class I had the unique opportunity of participating in an online language exchange with a student at the University in Strasbourg. During this exchange, I had the honor and pleasure of being partnered with Rumeysa, a very kind and friendly student living in Strasbourg and taking classes to become an elementary teacher. I was nervous at first to speak French with a native French speaker, but she quickly made me feel comfortable by being so nice and patient. From the get-go, we got along with ease! At the end of our Zoom exchange, we discussed how amazing it was to get to know each other and how we wished we could meet up in France one day. Little did we know that 2 years later, our plan would come true!

I visited Rumeysa in Strasbourg during my study abroad program in Cannes, France. Some friends and I visited this beautiful area in the northeast of France for 3 days and we spent one of them with Rumeysa. After conversation over a cup of coffee, she showed us all of her favorite restaurants, cafés, pâtisseries, boulangeries, chocolateries, and historical buildings. We spent the whole day chatting in French and putting a cherry on top of our experience studying a language abroad. It truly was a dream come true to travel to France and to meet up with my cultural exchange partner in person. We remain really good friends to this day!

Olivia with group

Logan Miller ’23 (left), Emerson Kanning ’22, Chris Stanek ’21, Olivia (Swedish exchange student), Rumeysa (French), and Olivia Solano ’22 (right)