Wilmington Senior is 4,400 miles from home

LOLA VICAT from France is spending her senior year studying at Wilmington High School. She is a member of the Spiritline.

Ella Cooper
WHS Student Reporter

In Varacieux, France a little over a year ago, Lola Vicat was scrolling through a popular social media site, TikTok. She came across a creator who was a foreign exchange student which peaked Vicat’s interest. She looked on the page and saw thousands of other kids studying all over the world. That’s when she decided she wanted to do the same thing too.

Vicat, 18, is completing her senior year here at Wilmington High School, over 4,428 miles away from her home town. Back home, she has an older sister, three younger sisters and a little brother. Her father is an electrician and her mother is a secretary for the same company.

Vicat has become a valued member of the WHS Spiritline since her arrival. She was a seasoned dancer in France, but cheerleading isn’t an offered extracurricular where she is from, so she leapt at the chance and has since fallen in love with it.

Cheer is one of Vicat’s favorite things here in America, but her host family is the best part. She is living with the Bradley-Orr family and has grown extremely close with her roommate, Grace Orr, 16, another member of the student body at WHS.

Spending the school year in Wilmington has so far come with cultural changes. She is very good at communicating in English and Spanish and has been learning all throughout Middle School and High School.

But, even with great communication she struggles with certain American customs. Where she is from, meals are strictly scheduled, you eat with your whole family at the same time every meal. As opposed to here where it is totally normal to grab leftovers and eat them on the couch.

Vicat, also mentioned that being here she has had many people ask her about French stereotypes, students have asked her if people in France really wear berets all the time. Vicat has made it very clear that they are common but not worn all the time by everyone.

When asked how the schools were different Vicat said, “School is just like the movies here. In Varacieux we don’t have pep rallies, school dances, or sports through the school. Every club or sport is outside of campus. But what really shocked me was how everyone really are true to themselves. Where I am from no one expresses themselves they all just follow one-another.”

After Vicat finishes her school year here, she plans on heading back to France and going to college to pursue a degree in Tourism. She’ll stay in France for two years then proceed to travel all over Europe for her last two years.

WHS is happy to host this wonderful student, and excited to see what great things she will accomplish here and in the future.