Around the World: France Edition

Titouan Ray’s exchange to America

The Eiffel Tower. People wearing berets. Gelato and baguettes. Cheese. These are probably a few of the first things that pop into your head when you hear the word France. For junior Titouan Rey, this is not the case. Rey decided that he wanted to become an exchange student around five years ago. “I wanted to leave France because I just wanted to live,” he said. His top choices were either Canada or the United States. “I just decided I wanted to go somewhere far away from France and I wanted to learn English at the same time,” said Rey.

Photo by Josie Koubek.
One of the things that Rey misses most about France is the food. “I miss bread,” he said.

“When I got an email saying that I was going to Nebraska, I didn’t even know if it was in the United States, but it sounded like Nevada and Alaska, so I figured [it was].”
Rey said the perception that people in North Platte have of France is just the cliche. “The perception of France has just been the French mustache but most people don’t know anything about France. When I ask people, they think that Italy is like France.” However, he said that France has its own stereotypes of the U.S. “[The perception of the United States] is big people, big country, and shooting guns all the time, but this is like the cliche. Also that it’s one of the most advanced countries in the world,” said Rey.

There have been certain things that have been a big change for Rey. “Having conversations has been a big adjustment for me to make.” Another adjustment was how everything is far away, versus in France, where things are geographically closer and walking distance away. “Turning right on the reds has also been a very big shock for me,” said Rey.

Another big difference has been the changes in education. “In France, school is more about just learning, learning, and learning. Here it is more about hanging out and seeing friends,” he said. This is something that Rey said he will miss about the United States.
“I love how in the community everybody knows everybody. I just want to see everything in the United States before I leave,” said Ray.




  • France is the highest consumer of cheese in the world
  • It is legal to marry a dead person in France
  • The longest human lifespan belongs to a French woman, who lived for 122 years, 164 days and
  • Vincent Van Gogh when she was 12 or 13 years old
  • There are 12 time zones in France
  • The largest country in the European Union is France
  • Around 5 million of France’s population is of Arab and African descent