Heloise Rouault came to UR through the Modern Language and Cultures Department’s Rennes Exchange program, in which a graduating student from Universite Rennes is selected to teach French and enroll in classes at UR. Rouault has completed a first-year master’s in English at Universite Rennes and leads recitations for elementary and conversational French classes at UR.

Why did you want to take advantage of the UR/Rennes exchange?

I have the equivalent of a masters in English. So, I want to travel and I want to improve my English. And I want to be a teacher as well, so coming here was perfect for me. I could visit a new country, I could earn money and I could get some teaching experience.

I’ve been traveling in England and Ireland, but I wanted to go overseas. I had never been to the United States.

Do you plan to eventually live and teach in France?

I like teaching abroad, but it is so different. It’s a big choice in your life. If you decide to spend your whole life abroad, it means you are not going to be able to see your family everyday, you are going to be missing your friends, you have to start everything from the beginning, which is pretty tough. You don’t realize it, but it’s pretty tough to create your whole network again.

How does your experience with Americans compare to what you may have thought or heard before coming here?

I was very positively amazed. I was very welcomed. I didn’t know anyone when I came here. For the first few weeks I stayed with a few people who I had never met before and they were so nice to me – getting me to Wegmans, doing all the things you need to do when you arrive in a new country, showing me around and everything. I spent one year in Ireland and everybody said Irish people are so, so nice, and they are. But I came here and I was so, so happy. I didn’t expect this. I’m impressed as well by the level of the students here in general, not only in French.

Besides teaching, what hobbies or activities do you enjoy?

I like playing the piano, and I go out and see the friends I have here. I spend some time on MSN and on Skype. don’t want to count how many hours a day

What are some cultural differences that have been most noticeable to you?>/b>

OK, I don’t understand your rules of dating. I am so confused. I don’t know how to explain this, but I can’t understand the dating thing.

And you eat out a lot. In France, eating out is so expensive.

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