Extended Stay for Brothers from France

Valentin (left) and Florian Milloch (right) moved to Rockville from Brittany, France. --Xavier Rivera

Valentin (left) and Florian Milloch (right) moved to Rockville from Brittany, France. –Xavier Rivera

Valentin (left) and Florian Milloch (right) moved to Rockville from Brittany, France. --Xavier Rivera
Valentin (left) and Florian Milloch (right) moved to Rockville from Brittany, France. –Xavier Rivera

For French brothers Florian and Valentin Milloch, calling their stay here in the U.S. an adventure is quite the understatement.

The two boys came to Rockville this year, enrolling in the ESOL program for French speakers. Their mother, a French government worker, applied for a position at the French Embassy in Washington, D.C. Out of 153 candidates, she got the job.

“It was a bit complicated to manage all the paperwork involved in living abroad, in the United States. Before we settled in to where we live now, we stayed in an apartment in Rockville Town Square. Then, we found an apartment close to the school where we live,” Florian said.

The brothers came to Rockville because they were supposed to prepare for the “BAC”, which is the French equivalent to the SAT and RHS also offers the International Baccalaureate program. In addition, the rent in Rockville was not too expensive, Florian explained.

The boys are the only students in ESOL who are from France. This has exposed students to new insights on not only French culture but also American culture. Florian found some things in American culture odd, such as the concept of football, as football is known as soccer to the French.

“We had to explain what homecoming was, he had to understand what football was, as far as pep rallies, which was a little overwhelming a�� We gained an appreciation of the things he found unique about American culture,” ESOL teacher Sara Nathan said.

While settling in here, the brothers have come to miss some things from their home in Brittany, the western part of France. Florian said the things he misses most are his friends and the local cuisine. The boys described a typical meal in France as having more courses including a starter, a main dish, cheese, fruit and dessert, while here one might just eat one or two courses, like a hamburger and fries.

“The food is very different here. I don’t want to brag about French food, but it is really much better. The food in France is much less greasy than the food here in America,” Florian said.

The brothers also miss certain hobbies they enjoyed at home, such as Florian’s regular judo classes. He has not yet found the equivalent here. Another hobby popular with teens in France is clubbing.

“I do miss being able to go out to clubs. In France you can go out to clubs starting at 18 years old, but in the U.S., you have to wait until you are 21,” Florian said.

Despite missing these aspects of French life, Florian appreciates the character of the people he has met in Rockville. His impression is not completely negative, as he has gotten to know more about the people here. The brothers also prefer the school hours here, as they differ from those in France.

“One thing I like about here is that school day is shorter, and you have time to do other things in the afternoon. In France, school gets out very late, around 5 or 6 p.m,” Valentin said.

Not only do they appreciate the shorter school days, but they have noticed a few social differences between American and French society.

“It was easy to fit in here. People are very open here. In France, they judge you by what you wear, how you speak, etc. Here, everyone dresses in a very relaxed way,” Florian said.