Lea, a Macedonian student living in Kenya, is a successful young author. She spent 4 weeks with us as part of our “Junior and Teens Summer Programme". She tells us about her experience, shares her love for French culture, for Montpellier and her plans for the future after learning the language at Accent Français.
1. Lea, you’ve lived in several countries like Kenya, Israel, and Ivory Coast. You’ve travelled around the globe, and you even published your first book when you were 14. How is this possible? Can you tell me a bit more about yourself?
I’m a really determined person and when I set my mind to something, I make sure it happens. When I was in sixth grade, we were doing this writing competition in English class and I made up this story. Once everything was marked, my teacher pulled me to the side and wanted to know what would happen next. That feeling was something I definitely wanted to feel again, and that’s when I started getting into writing. I had to move after a while and my new English teacher helped me a lot. It was thanks to her that I could publish my book. I am now trying to publish my second one.
2. How do you feel living in so many different countries has affected you as a person? Do you feel more open because of it or maybe even more reserved because you always had to deal with new people?
I was always a very open and trusting person and all the moving around definitely had an impact. People were always drawn to me, but I also used to be bullied in school because of it. People called me weird, but I never saw it that way. I am very happy with who I am and I just love meeting new people. It’s my life goal to be that one guy who knows a guy.
3. Why did you choose to come to Montpellier and learn French? What was your motivation behind it?
My mom heard of Accent Français and wanted to surprise me. I’ve always loved France, the language, and the culture. And I love travelling. Airports are my favourite places on earth. So, when my mom told me about it, I said yes. It all worked out perfectly, I really love it here. And it is also helpful because I’m planning to start a career in Lyon to work as a profiler with Interpol.
4. Do you feel like your French has improved during your time here in Montpellier?
Definitely. I see it in my writing as well. My struggle in French was always the sentence structure and I think that’s improving.
5. Do you feel like classes helped you more or was it the fact that you lived here and interacted with people?
A bit of both, but I don’t think that classes would’ve helped so much if I hadn’t had such a great teacher.
6. How was your overall experience at the school? You’ve met many people and got to experience a culture that is very different to the one you’re used to in Kenya.
I love it. I don’t want to go home. I love the culture and the freedom people have. Everyone always says that French people are arrogant, but I don’t think so. The people here are always really nice.
7. Did you participate in any activities and go on trips with Jérémy?
Yes. I skipped some activities that weren’t appealing to me, but other than that, I’ve been to nearly every excursion with Jérémy. We were here on Bastille Day day as well and I made really close friends with a group of people. It was such an important moment.
8. What do you do when you’re not at school?
I’m rarely home. I love being outside because in Kenya I have to be home all the time. I’ve taken advantage of everything I have here. Me and my friends love to go to Polygone and The Shakespeare which is my favourite place here. All activities are fun as long as you’re with the right people.
9. Do you have a favourite moment here? Something you will always look back on with a smile on your face?
There’s quite a few. Definitely Bastille Day, laser tag and bowling, where I spent all day dancing and singing. I didn’t have a voice the next day. We also had many farewells for our friends at The Shakespeare and I’m never going to forget those nights because they were so rowdy and everyone was having so much fun.
10. What are your plans after Accent Français?
I’m visiting my friend Lina in Switzerland and then going back to Kenya. School starts again at the end of August.
11. Would you recommend doing a French course to other people?
I don’t know about the course if you don’t really know where to use the language in the future, but for me it was very important because I know I want to live in France. I would definitely recommend coming to Montpellier, though. I really love it here. Accent Français is a really great school.
12. Is there anything you would like to say to future Accent Français students? Any advice you would like to give them?
Definitely pay a visit to The Shakespeare. Don’t be afraid to talk to people. You only live once and even if it goes bad, what’s the worst that can happen? But also, don’t talk to too many strangers and always watch out. And most of all, always befriend your teacher. If you’re friendly with the teacher, you become more comfortable with talking and learn more.
Thank you Lea for choosing our school for your immersion programme in France, it was a pleasure to count you in this Summer and to share your experience with all on our blog ! Take care and keep learning French !
The team Accent Français