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Woodbury resident Brooke Mischler, who has always wanted to travel, will spend a school year studying in Normandy, France. (Submitted photo)

East Ridge sophomore readies for year abroad in France

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East Ridge sophomore readies for year abroad in France
Cottage Grove Minnesota 7584 80th Street South 55016

East Ridge High School sophomore Brooke Mischler has been dreaming about traveling since she could barely walk.

"I've always wanted to study abroad and get new experiences," she said. "My grandma used to say we would travel the world together and I always loved that idea.

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"I blame her for my travel ideas."

Mischler will be getting her travel wish this year as she spends a year studying abroad in France. She leaves Sept. 5 and will return July 6, 2014.

Mischler will be traveling abroad thanks to the AFS-USA organization, a nonprofit international exchange program.

Mischler said she decided on France for her study abroad destination because she is fascinated by the language and the culture.

"I think it's just beautiful," she said.

Mischler will return July 6.

School in Normandy

Mischler will be attending a French high school in Normandy, where she will be staying with a host family.

In France, students usually have eight periods a day and go to school six days a week, Monday through Saturday, according to the AFS-USA website.

For Mischler, she will be taking literature, math, science and language courses.

School starts at around 8 a.m. and ends around 5 p.m. with three 15-minute breaks and a long lunch break during the day.

Classes on Wednesday and Saturdays are finished by lunchtime.

"It's more like a college schedule," Mischler said. "Every week is the same, but every day is different."

Mischler, who has had only one year of French, said she is very nervous about understanding her classes since they are all taught in French.

Additionally, French schools are known to be a lot more rigid and students have to act a lot more independently.

A new experience

To help prepare her for experience, Mischler said she has been practicing her French through a phone application.

"It's just starting to hit me that it's crunch time," she said.

Additionally, Mischler said she is trying to get in as much time with her family as she can.

"I will miss my parents dearly," she said, "but I'm ready to go."

Mischler said she is most looking forward to being able to discover the cultural differences between France and the United States.

"It's going to be something new every day," she said. "Hopefully I'll take away a new language that I should be almost fluent in by the time it's done.

"I'm also hoping to get a new love for life since America is so closed in to our own society -- to get outside of that will be a really cool change."

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Amber Kispert-Smith
Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.
(651) 702-0976
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