FHS Senior Haley Cole Studies Abroad


Ellie Keller

Haley Cole ventured to Europe this semester to study French in a city called Nice, located on the southern coast of France. With its stunning beaches and quaint Mediterranean architecture, it sounds like the dream. Cole traveled through the program Education First (EF), an international education company that specializes in language training and cultural exchange. Since this program is more structured, it’s perfect for people looking to travel to another country by themselves while still having some guidance.

With EF, students have the ability to choose the time frame they want to travel in. For those who want more than two weeks but don’t want to go the full year with the rotary exchange, this program is convenient because it allows for a more in-depth experience without completely missing senior year. Cole took French classes in a school nearby. The people ranged from teens of all cultures to a 50-year-old Japanese man.

“I had two general French classes a day and one to two electives, and that was just grammar or vocabulary. The higher up you get you can have normal electives like business or more creative stuff,” Cole said. “I also really liked my teacher. She was probably one of the best teachers I’ve ever had.”

Cole stayed with a host family and three other students. She shared a room with one other girl and two others stayed in another room.

“I got very lucky with host families because I heard a lot from other people, and it didn’t turn out as well for them,” Cole said. “Apparently my host mom was either the best or in the top three of all the host families in Nice.”

To pair the host with the student, an application must be filled out a couple months before leaving for the trip.

“I think it was me mentioning that I’m kind of a hippie and everything because she had elephants everywhere,” Cole said. Cole went on many trips with the people she roomed with and was adopted by a group of Swedes since her roommate was Swedish.

“I went to Rome with them, and we did day trips to villages outside of Nice,” Cole said. “I also went to Paris with my friend from Canada, but it was for a concert, so it was separate from the program.”

As to whether or not she would recommend this program, Cole said that she would definitely recommend traveling abroad, but wished she had looked more into other programs.

“I really enjoyed the program, but it was also very expensive, and I wish I would have done a little bit more research into other programs before I stuck with EF. If you do go with EF, don’t waste your money on Intensive because some of the classes were repetitive,” Cole said. “Other than that, it’s definitely a good way to experience a foreign country and improve your language skills.”