A Parisian in Edina

Celia Vedder, section editor

The resurgence of exchange students began to fill the halls of Edina for the first time since the pandemic hit, and EHS couldn’t be more excited to welcome these new faces in. 

A majority of exchange students join EHS through the program Educational Tours. You might be familiar with this travel institution, which is better known as EF, if you have ever taken an education-driven trip with EHS. They help and encourage students to go out and explore the world, giving opportunities for EHS students to go beyond the U.S and vice-versa for exchange students. 

Emma Pardon, a senior, is grateful for her exchange experience. She is visiting from France, more specifically an area which used to belong to Italy near the Alps, where her sister, Marie Pardon plays for the French women’s basketball team. In being so close to the mountains, she spends her time both skiing and snowboarding.“The planning begins a year in advance and I was fortunate enough for COVID not to affect my journey,” Pardon said.  

During her time here, Pardon has been engaged in recreational Girls Flag Football and surrounded herself with new friends.

Pardon shares that although both the French and American school systems have their similarities, the French school system vastly differs from Edina’s. “A typical school day will last from 8 A.M. to 5 P.M. or 6 P.M.,” Pardon said. “I’m also new to all the driving that’s going on.” The jam-packed parking lot that comes with being an Edina student was a surprise to Pardon. 

Pardon has traveled to the US twice to visit Florida and New York, but this would be her first time enduring the rush that comes with attending an American public school. As she was coming in blind, she only had the knowledge of teenage high school movies upon entering the system. “One of the expectations I had about Edina was [that] it was going to be like the movies.” Pardon said.

While visiting Minnesota, Pardon hopes to surround herself with the ins and outs of American culture and, as she says, experience the American dream. Though Edina may not be as close in resemblance to that of High School Musical or a John Hughes movie, Pardon wouldn’t trade it for anything else. “If I could bring back one thing from Edina to France, it would be the entire American school experience,” she said.