L’Etudiant Etranger Episode One ~ Back to School Week

Hello friends! Today is the final day of Back to School week!

Today’s post is extra exciting, because we’re kicking of a new photoseries! My goal is to finish this up before December, so you’ll get to see every episode soon.

AND, there will probably be a season two next spring! Season one is titled: Bienvenue.

Okay, anyway this series will officially introduce Gisselle into our stuffie family! I can’t say too much more, so please enjoy episode one of L’Etudiant Etranger!


I made a glossary for anyone who wants to know what Gisselle says when she’s speaking French.

Okay, NOW, without further ado…


My nerves got the better of me as I stepped onto the ground. My stomach flopped and I began to feel woozy.

I was officially in a new country.

It wasn’t that I’d never traveled internationally. One of my fondest memories was a trip to Germany with Mère. But that was different. I wasn’t alone. Plus, it wasn’t 5,000 miles away…


L’aeroport reeked of hamburgers.

“Blech,” I spat. Hamburgers were not my cup of tea. They were about the most American food I could think of. But I was hungry…

“Oh là là, Gisselle, ce n’est pas la mer à boire!” I muttered to myself. Eating a hamburger really wasn’t a big deal. I just…wasn’t happy about it.

I swallowed my pride (though it wasn’t very fulfilling) to walk up to the nearest McDonald’s. I coughed a little. Was I really about to get fast food?

There was nothing else around in the airport for me to eat. McDonald’s would have to do.


I ordered a small hamburger.

“Bon appetit,” I whispered to myself.

I checked my phone. My flight had landed early, so my host family wasn’t even on their way yet. I really hoped they made it alright. And that they weren’t creeps. I didn’t know what I’d do if I was sent to live with creeps for the next year. I mean, these people had completed background checks, but what if they were just really good at hiding their crimes?

I swallowed, shaking my fears from my head.

D’accord Gisselle,” I breathed. “If they’re creeps, I’ll just call the local authorities.”


I stretched out on a bench, using my backpack as a pillow. My host family would be a while, so I might as well take a short rest.


Bonjour Gisselle! Je suis Clarice, ton hôtesse! Bienevinue!” a woman greeted, rousing me from my slumber.

Salut,” I muttered. “I speak Anglais if that makes things easier.”

“Ah, bien!” she replied. “I studied the lovely French language in college, but the rest of my family isn’t fluent.”


She then gestured to her family. “This is mon amour, Rudolph. These are our kids, Rudy and Claire. We’re excited to have you live with us this year!”

I smiled. They definitely didn’t seem like creeps.

“Have you eaten?” Rudolph asked. “I always get hungry after a long flight.”

“Oh non,” I replied. “I already ate.”


My hamburger settled in my stomach. I was still regretting my choice of American cuisine.

“Okay,” Clarice replied. “Well, when I get off a long flight, I’m usually exhausted. I bet you want to get some sleep?”

I nodded. That sounded heavenly. I couldn’t wait to sink into bed and sleep for forever.


Rudolph helped me carry my things to their mini-van. I quizzically looked it over.

Pardon moi, but might I ask why you have such a large car? It appears that you only have two children.”

I didn’t know if my question could be taken badly, but I was curious. Mère used to always say that I was too inquisitive for my own good. I couldn’t help it!

(pretend it’s a mini-van)

“We do only have two kids,” Clarice replied. “But I’m always driving friends and family places, so it makes sense to have a big car.”

I nodded. I suppose that made sense.

Everyone began to buckle themselves into the car. 

“I don’t want to be in the back!” Rudy and Claire began to argue.


I hated tension. “I’ll sit in the back,” I volunteered.

“You really don’t have to,” Clarice assured me.

I shook my head, “I really don’t mind.”

Clarice sighed. “Alright. What do you two say?”


Rudy and Claire hung their heads. “Thank you,” they muttered in unison.

“So uncool,” Rudy groaned.

“We’re not five!” Claire whined.

“Then why do you act like it?” Rudolph asked.

“Where are you from?” Rudy turned to the back, eager to change the subject.


“I’m from Normandy, France,” I replied, thinking fondly of my hometown.

“Cool!” Claire dreamily sighed. “Can you see the Eiffel Tower from your bedroom?”

I suppressed a laugh. “That’s Paris. Normandy is…a bit far from Paris.”


“Oh,” she sighed, more gloom in her tone this time. “Well, what do you do in Normandy then?”

“Lots of things!” I exclaimed. “I adore going to the beach. The sand is so white.”

“It’s also filled with history,” Clarice added. “It was a battle site during World War II. Very educational.”

“Ugh, Mom!” Rudy complained. “I’m out of school for the week! I don’t like that word.”


Clarice chuckled. “What else do you like about Normandy?”

My thoughts wandered to food. “The apples.”

A memory of my family apple picking replayed in my mind.

“Every Autumn my family goes apple picking. Mère always makes the best apple treats all season long. It’s like a party for my tastebuds.”

“Cool,” Claire noted in awe. “What’s the French word for ‘apple?’”


Pomme,” I replied without missing a beat. 

Though English was more practical, especially in America, I still felt a deep appreciation for my home tongue. Gratitude filled my soul with the knowledge that I could speak multiple languages. It was a privilege that most did not have. And to be here in America! I knew I would have so many amazing experiences this year. I couldn’t be more thankful.


Before long, the click of the turn signal indicated Rudolph pulling into their driveway. Er, my driveway. It was weird to think of this place as my home for the next year. 

I was going to miss my family.


Clarice showed me inside. “This is your room,” she smiled.

All I needed to see was the big, soft bed. “Thank you!” I replied, before tossing my things on the ground and crawling into bed.


“I’ll unpack later,” I mumbled, already half asleep.

Clarice giggled. “Alright. Well, we’re happy to have you here.”

Episode one is a wrap! Everyone give a huge welcome to Gisselle!

Also, thanks for making Back to School week so awesome! Don’t forget to catch up on any of the posts that you missed.

I will see you on Friday with the first episode of Skipping Stones! Also, this month you can expect to see Aftershock Premiere week.

Click for Episode Two


26 thoughts on “L’Etudiant Etranger Episode One ~ Back to School Week

  1. that was AMAZING!!
    by the way i love that their names are rudy and claire hehe
    gisselle’s travel outfit is adorable!
    i can’t wait to see what happens next! 😍

    Liked by 1 person

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