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21 Oct 2015

French Student Visits Farragut Rotary

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Centre Court Member Liz Gregor introduces a French Student to Farragut Rotary.

Rotary Youth Exchange student Pierre Ribardiere has always enjoyed French Studentextra-curricular activities including soccer, martial arts and robotics, but since coming to East Tennessee eight weeks ago, he’s added a new hobby: waterskiing.

Webb School Multi-Cultural Coordinator Liz Gregor introduced Ribardiere, who is from Normandy France to the Rotary Club of Farragut, the organization sponsoring him. “Apparently, water skiing is the new passion he is into,” Gregor said, drawing chuckles from the audience.

Ribardiere has been to a University of Tennessee football game at Neyland Stadium, a soccer game and a Taylor Swift concert in Nashville where Mick Jagger made a cameo appearance.
“Not bad for someone who’s just been here for eight weeks, Gregor said, adding that Ribardiere still needs an orange T-Shirt.

Ribardiere told the Rotarians about his family, his community and his high school. The 16 year old said he loves to travel with his family. His mother is from Japan, and his paternal grandmother is French Polynesian.
“So I can speak French, Japanese, English and some Spanish.”
He lives in a small village called La Chapelle-Montligeon in Lower Normandy and attends a high school about 45 minutes away as a boarding student. Students have a full day of classes until 5 p.m., he said.

One of the big differences where he lives is that people are still allowed to smoke anywhere. During school breaks, students are also allowed to smoke.
At his high school, he doesn’t have to wear a uniform, but he said he likes wearing his uniform at Webb, where he is a sophomore.
Ribardiere will stay with host families and finish this school year.

Our thanks go to Bonny C. Millard of the Business Shopper News for this article.