Exchange student Lafon gets involved at EG

Alexa Di Novo, Staff Reporter

Lili Lafon was scrolling through her social media feeds when she came across a video that caught her eye.

“I saw a TikTok about a girl that did an exchange year, and I was wowed,” Lafon said. “I wanted so bad to go to the United States.”

So, she did.

After a full semester at an American high school, Lafon, who is from France, has been studying at Elk Grove since school started in August.

“I love that there are sports here,” Lafon said. “I love that there is cheer, and I love that everybody is like ‘come on, you can do it!’”

Lafon, who is a junior, is from the northern part of France, just about an hour and a half outside of Paris. She got the itch to travel during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. Elk Grove usually has exchange programs with countries such as Japan and Italy, but those were put on halt at the onset of the pandemic in 2020.

Lafon is just one of the few that has had the opportunity to study at Elk Grove since the pandemic started in 2020.

One of the challenges Lafon has encountered in the United States is being in a country studying a language she is still learning.

As a matter of fact, AP French teacher, Kirsten Fletcher, has also had the pleasure to experience being an exchange student.

“I know that at times, it can be a lonely experience as an exchange student, and (Lili) seems to have really put down roots,” Fletcher said.

Fletcher has noticed that Lafon fits in well here at school.

“I was in the hall chatting with (Lili), and people just kept coming by like ‘Hi, Lili!’” she said. “She’s made a lot of connections in the school because she’s been willing to put herself out there.”

Lili is wasting no time getting involved. Within her first few weeks at Elk Grove, she got involved with the cross country team. Months later, she is now involved in track and theater.

“Life isn’t always pretty as pink, but I really like it here,” Lafon said.