This month, I talked to Lou-Ann Stock, who is visiting from France to practice her English. She arrived in Durham one month ago. Despite her initial trepidation about her language skills, Lou-Ann was quick to immerse herself in American.
Lou-Ann has especially enjoyed getting involved in the International House’s programming. She has attended cooking clubs, book clubs, Global Café, and both English and Spanish Conversation Clubs. In the picture below, Lou-Ann participates in a card-making activity hosted in the International House. She shares that due to these many opportunities to practice English, she has become much more confident using the language.
Lou-Ann says that she was surprised by how international the City of Durham is. She appreciates having the chance to meet both Americans and people from many countries around the world.
She is glad the International House was able to facilitate these relationships.
In addition to getting involved in the Duke International community through the International House, Lou-Ann has gotten to know the Durham community. She likes that Durham is not too big, which allows her to bike anywhere she wants to go. She has especially enjoyed exploring downtown Durham, visiting parks, and going to the cinema. She also ventured even further to the North Carolina Zoo.
Lou-Ann shares that many aspects of American culture took her time to adjust to. She feels that everything is bigger in America, from the cars to the streets to the houses to the celebration of Halloween. She also feels like many people have “a different cultural mind,” as they are more focused on consumerism. In addition, she had to adjust to the differences in food, as American food tends to be saltier than French food. Lou-Ann also describes the differences in greetings. She shares that in France, people tend to greet with a kiss on the check. In America, however, people tend to greet with a handshake or hug. She laughs as she shares the funny moments of misunderstanding this cultural difference caused.
Despite these variances, Lou-Ann says that America is “not too different than France.” She concludes that the United States is a “very interesting country” and that she is glad to spend time learning about the American culture and ways of life.
We are also glad to have Lou-Ann visit the International House to hear about her unique perspectives and experiences.