Elle Lagor ’21 discovers culture through SYA


The Hill School offers a School Year Abroad program to locations in France, China, Italy, and Spain. Students not only learn the local language through immersive education, but they also experience local culture and customs.

This school year, Hill student Elle Lagor ’21 is studying abroad in Rennes, France.  

“I really like being outside of my comfort zone and being challenged by new things,” Lagor said. 

After spending her whole life living on Hill’s campus, Lagor was excited to have a new experience unlike anything she had before. Currently, Lagor attends École Américaine de Rennes with other students like her from the United States who also live with French host families. 

“Feeling like you have a home is what makes living abroad easier, especially as a high schooler,” Lagor said. 

Lagor lives with her host parents and three siblings, including a sister who is the same age as her.

“Living with a host family has given me the opportunity to practice my French the most,” Lagor said. “My host family can understand English, but none of them can speak it, so it really forces me to speak in French.”

Lagor’s international school is full of other students just like her. The school follows a schedule similar to Hill, but all classes are taught in French, except for the English and Math classes. 

“On Thursdays, we don’t have school,” Lagor said. “Instead, we have a field work day where we go into the city and get a cultural experience. This week, I had to go into a cafe and have a conversation with three different people.”

With a few more months in France, Lagor is optimistic for the rest of the year. 

“I’m looking forward to traveling independently during our school breaks and spending more time with my host family,” Lagor said. 

Lagor will return to The Hill at the end of May. We’re sure she’ll have many stories to share.