by Michalene Miekley ’23 (Seton House)
One of the great privileges that the Trinity community has is the ability to welcome students from other countries to study among peers who will accept them with open arms and create relationships where two parts of the world can meet. As a member of Seton House, I had the opportunity to talk to another student hailing from the same House, Guillemette Guiguet. I asked her some questions that, after being answered, have given me a much better understanding of what it’s like to move to an entirely different country while still in school.
Where did you live in France?
In France, I lived in a city very close to Paris, Rueil Malmaison. However, it is not my “real” place: I come from the mountains, my family home is in the Alps.
Why did your family move to America, Pennsylvania specifically?
We moved to America with my family because my father, who is in the French Army, had an appointment to the Army War College of Carlisle. That is why we are in Pennsylvania.
Has moving here with your biological family helped you/given you more confidence?
Yes, moving to the US with my family definitely helped me to settle in a foreign country. I didn’t have to face homesickness and the stress of back-to-school alone because my parents were there to support me in the difficult times.
How many people are in your family and do any of them also attend Trinity?
I have 4 siblings (2 sisters and 2 brothers). Only me and my little sister attend Trinity because my little brother is still in middle school and my other siblings stayed in France for their studies.
What about Trinity has made your transition the easiest?
First, teachers have always been very present to help me with my difficulties due to the difference of language and culture. It did really help me to take my tests in the instructional support classroom. Also, I have met in Trinity some very kind students who have been very welcoming and this has helped me to not feel alone; I left all my friends in France but I am not by myself as I had feared before coming to Trinity. All these attentions and this follow-up have made the transition easiest.
How important is it to you that Trinity practices Catholicism?
I am Catholic and I have always been in Catholic school since my childhood. Thus, it was very important for both my parents and I that I continue to follow my studies in a Catholic school. I really appreciate the fact that I can follow my schooling at the same time as being able to form myself spiritually (especially with Theology) and grow in the faith.
What do you plan on doing in the future?
In the future, I would like to become a teacher, either in Elementary School in France, or in a foreign school where I would teach French to English speakers.
Would you recommend Trinity to other students who have recently moved from another country?
Yes, I would recommend Trinity to other foreign students because, in this school, I attend very interesting and beneficial lessons. Also, the whole faculty and staff support me with great care and benevolence.
In December, I had the privilege of being in a small group with Guillemette during our senior Kairos. During that time I got to know her very quickly, and I am certain that Guillemette is the nicest, most reflective, deliberate, and genuine friend that I have made here at Trinity. Having a theology class with her, I have been able to see her grow in her confidence speaking the English language and have also witnessed her intimate devotion with God. Guillemette, accompanied by all of the other foreign students that I have met here at Trinity, have certainly inspired me and I am so thankful for the relationships I’ve made. There are close friends from past years at Trinity who have moved back to their home countries who I’ve kept in contact with, and I intend on doing the same with Guillemette. I’ve loved seeing other countries from my peers’ point of view and can’t wait to see what they do next.