L’Etudiant Etranger || Season Two, Episode Four {Series Finale}

Hello friends!

At last, we’re at the end of L’Etudiant Etranger. This is my first completed multi-season photoseries! That’s exciting, right? Anyway, today’s episode is the last episode ever…so I really hope you enjoy!

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Days passed and I still hadn’t made my decision.

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“Are your things ready for the airport?” Clarice asked. “Adeline sweetie, I don’t remember if you’ve ever told me when you’re flying home. Is it soon?”

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“Oh, I am staying in the United States for a while. I love it here!” Adeline happily replied.

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I loved it here too, but was that enough to stay? I couldn’t believe it was already time to leave. It seemed that I’d taken too much time to decide – the decision had already been made. I had to get on that plane back to France. My parents were expecting me.

“Yes, my things are packed,” I sighed. I did not want to leave America.

The drive to the airport was quiet. My entire host family had accompanied me to bid me adieu,* and of course, Adeline was there.

I hated not knowing when I’d see any of them again.

*farewell

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It felt like I was watching a movie as the next scenes progressed. There was a tearful goodbye, me on the airplane, and finally, I touched down in another country. It didn’t register to me that I was thousands of miles away from some of my dearest friends, possibly forever, until it was too late.

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“Gisselle!” my parents were waiting for me outside the airport. “Ça fait tellement longtemps! Tu nous as manqué!”*

I had missed them too. But this wasn’t the joyous homecoming I’d imagined. Adeline wasn’t here, and I felt a sense of homesickness for the US already, even though it wasn’t my home. But the people there…I’d felt nothing like what I’d felt for them.

Ever since I met them, I’d felt a sense of belonging. Only now that I was back in France did I realize I’d made a terrible mistake.

*It’s been so long! We missed you!

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Mère, Père,” I sniffled. “I think I would like to go back to America. With Adeline.”

They shared a sad glance. 

Si c’est ce que tu veux,”* Mère sighed.

*If that’s what you want.

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After a few days of visiting with my parents, they put me on a plane again. This time, it wasn’t for a school year. I didn’t know how long I’d stay in America. But I did know one thing. I belonged there. My parents and my birth country would always remain a part of me. And I’d always come back to visit. 

But America was my home now. Adeline was my home. Claire and Rudy were my home. If I stayed in France, I’d always feel something missing from my life.

For the second time that week, my plane touched down in a different country. This time, no familiar faces stood to greet me. I hadn’t told Clarice or Adeline, or anyone of my plans yet.

I took an Uber to Rudolph and Clarice’s house. Nerves got the better of me as I knocked on their door…would they be happy to see me? Would they tell me to go back to France?

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Claire gasped when she saw me.

“Mom! I think I’m going crazy!” she hollered.

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“You are not crazy mon petit sœur.* I am really here,” I pulled her into a hug. “I am staying in America.”

There were more shocked and tearful greetings. Clarice called Periwinkle and told her to drive Adeline over immediately. She also told me that I was welcome to stay with her for as long as I wanted.

“I would like that,” I replied. Even though I wouldn’t be living with Adeline, we’d still be very close. I liked living with Rudolph and Clarice.

*my little sister

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Finally, Adeline arrived. I hid behind a wall, waiting to surprise her.

“What is it?” she asked.

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I leaped out. “Me!”

She clutched a hand to her chest. “Est-ce vraiment toi?”*

I nodded. “C’est.”**

*Is it really you?

**It is.

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She embraced me and I continued. “I am staying here. In America.”

The joy we both felt was unmatchable. I felt much of the same way I’d felt when I’d first arrived in this country, but this time I had my sister by my side. We were going to finally be together.

Did you like Gisselle’s story? Are you glad she ultimately decided to stay in America?

Anyway, I do apologize for being all over the place with blogging lately. Hopefully, I can get my act together before Camp starts. Which reminds me, next time I see you will be during Camp Happy Heart! I’m excited!

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