Discovering France and my Region — Sophia’s ISE Experience (Part 2)

high school study abroad France
Studying in France

By: Sophia Boyanchek

While learning French is a big factor in my exchange to France, the region that I live in, Normandy, offers a rich history and so much culture of its own. With my host family, we visited Chateaux, museums, and other sites in the area.

One of the first days in being in France, my host family took me to Bayeux to see its famous long tapestry that tells the story of the events surrounding the conquest of England by the Duke of Normandy. I hadn’t known much about Normandy’s history before arriving, so to find out that the region itself had such a unique story was really interesting.

I had the opportunity to visit the American Memorial at Omaha Beach. I found it really interesting to learn history that France and the U.S. shared.

I have also gotten the chance to visit a chateau or two in my area. This is something that is common in most of Europe, but rare in the United States. Visiting these historical  sites gives me a sense of just how far back the culture runs.

Falaise Castle: It was the chateau of William the Conqueror.

Fontaine-Henry Castle: Only about 10 minutes away from my house in Normandy! I did a tour of the inside, and I learned so much about the different types of architecture included in the structure!

Chateau de Boutemont: This was really different to the others I’ve seen! It was more of a medieval style which was really interesting!

The Chateau in Caen: It is really cool because it is in the center of the city on a hill. Around it, there are paths to walk on, and when it’s nice, the landscape is perfect!

Lastly, I visited Mont Saint-Michel right before Easter! Such a staple in the sites of Normandy. I’m so glad that I had the opportunity to visit it! Really, the architecture of it all was just incredible! It looked so much better than the pictures!

Visiting all of these wonderful places and historical sites added so much to my exchange year, and I’m so excited to share all of these memories back home.

Falaise Castle
Boutemont Castle
If you would like to help an exchange student’s dreams come true, we invite you to read more about hosting a foreign exchange student. If you have specific questions about hosting, check out our host family FAQ page. You can also read testimonials from our past and current host families. When you feel ready, complete our host family interest form and our area representative will get in touch with you.


You can also get involved by joining our team of Area Representatives! Help match host families and exchange students and bring the world closer together, while making a supplemental income.


Global friendship starts with local action. Volunteer to host a student today!


Change the world, one family at a time. Apply to become an ISE Area Representative!


Explore a new culture and experience a new way of life. Become an exchange student!

Leave a comment