Lindsay Skeen

 

Hometown: Lake Mary, Florida
School: Lake Mary
Sponsor District : District 6980
Sponsor Club: , Florida
Host District: 1780
Host Club: The Rotary Club of Bonneville

My Bio


Hi! My name is Lindsay, I am 16 and a junior at Lake Mary High school. At home, I am a middle child. I have an older sister named Bethany and a younger brother Cameron. I am very bubbly and always have a smile on my face. I LOVE adventures and am always up to try new things! I am so blessed to have the opportunity and see and discover a new country, and see how they live. I am also really interested in art, I think it is so cool how one can be so creative. Something else I love it is classical music, it’s so soothing and really beautiful. I am a lover of sweet tea and bulldogs. I have such a great support system whether it be my friends or my family, I am beyond thankful for everything they do for me. Some of my favorite things to do in my free time is go to Disney, spend the day on the lake, or go to a hiking trail nearby. I absolutely LOVE being outside and

Paris!!!

Paris!!!

Views from my bedroom

Views from my bedroom

French treats with my favorite Italian

French treats with my favorite Italian

Hiking during inbound orientation

Hiking during inbound orientation

Journals: Lindsay- France Blog 2017-18

  • Lindsay, Outbound to France

    WOW!! Happy May 1st! These last 8 months have flown by and have definitely been the quickest 8 months of my life. Sometimes this life feels just like a dream and that I'm bound to wake up any second. Since, I'm going home in 19 days ( how is that even possible ) I've decided to write one last time to reflect on my exchange and to talk about my feelings. First off, this exchange has definitely changed me and has helped me grow, tremendously. I am NOT the same person who boarded that plane to France last August. I've learned countless lessons from appreciating the little things to learning how to do things for myself to even learning what I can do to become more environmentally friendly. This has been an incredibly emotionally year for me, as well. I've always had a big heart but my heart has grown 10 times the size as it was before. I think part of the reason is now I understand. I understand how hard it is too communicate when you don't speak the language, I understand what it's like not to have many friends or people you know, I understand what it's like for people not to understand you ( in many aspects). I understand it all now and I think now I just want to make sure no one feels the way I've felt multiple times throughout my exchange. Another big thing, is the cultural differences. You'd think that France and the United States really aren't that difference especially when you compare the U.S to an Asian country. But, there are quite a few cultural differences and it's really hard because there is somethings I LOVE about France that I wish I could bring back to the U.S with me and there are somethings about the U.S that I appreciate so much more and have definitely missed. For example, in France when they greet each other they do the " bises" ( the kisses on the cheeks) and in the U.S we usually hug. I prefer hugs, I think its a lot more intimate and personal. But, in France they're a lot more family oriented, and we eat dinner together as a family EVERY night, personally I LOVE this. I think it's incredibly important to have family time and it has definitely helped me grow closer with my host families. The other night, I woke up from a dream sobbing because in my dream I was saying goodbye to my two best friends here, Irina and Kristine. ( Exchange students from Norway and Argentina ) These girls have been my rock this year, I couldn't have done this exchange and survived the countless hours of school without them. Going home is going to be incredibly bitter-sweet. I never really understood the quote " you leave your friends and family to go home to your friends and family" before, and now I do. I always thought like "oh this is just a year, then I'll go home and my life will be the same. " Oh was I crazy for thinking that. This has become my life, and my whole heart. Of course I'm super excited to get to see my friends and my family in the U.S again, but I don't know what I'm going to do without the people I call my " friends and family " here. Honestly, it kind of makes me sick to my stomach knowing I probably wont ever be complete, again. This has become my Home, and of course the U.S is my home but so is France now. I'm not saying this year was perfect, because it definitely was not perfect or even close to perfect, but, I will miss it with my WHOLE heart.

    Click HERE to read more about Lindsay and all her blogs

  • Lindsay, Outbound to France

    So, I've been in France for almost 7 months now and time is going by so quick. I have about 2 months left of my exchange (because I am going home to graduate with my class), it seems like I have so much time left but I also know in about what feels like 2 seconds, it'll be time to say my goodbyes. Some days I'm ready to just hop on a plane back to the U.S and other days I can't imagine saying goodbye to this life. I think before exchange we all had this idea in our heads that this will be the best and easiest year of our life. If anything this has not been the easiest year, I've struggled a lot this year, though I am grateful as I know this has definitely helped me grow as a person. I've learned so many lessons from cherishing time to tolerance to learning to love myself. But the biggest lesson I've learned is to appreciate everything. if anything exchange has taught me to appreciate everything from my life back home, to someone taking the time out of their busy schedule to help me with my French. One of my friends back home asked me yesterday "do you regret going on exchange?" and my response was " there are some days when I do ask myself "why am I here? " but no I don't regret coming on exchange because every lesson I've learned, every person I've met, every new food I've tried, and every new thing I've done is 100% worth all the struggles I've faced". 7 months in you would think, I'd be over being home sick but lately, I've been getting more homesick now then I have been throughout my exchange. you know the expression " you don't fully appreciate something until it's gone" well, that works for both situations. I never appreciated my life, my friends, my family, and every little thing from home until now, though I have friends and a host family here, they can never replace the things from home. and I know when I leave to come back home I will miss the same things from here, and I will miss my life here but i guess that's just apart of exchange, you get to live 2 incredible lives within one lifetime and you will always be missing something. On the Bright side I'm getting a little bit of home in a few weeks, my dad and sister are coming to visit me and I am so excited to see them and visit Paris/Nice, Spain, and Italy. they are coming in 3 weeks from today, which seems like a lifetime but I'm exploding with excitement and joy. Now, I just have to get through the 3 more school weeks until spring break!!! I am really lucky to have lived this life the last 7 months, and I'm looking forward to what my final 2 months have in store. I still have so much I want to see and do but if I don't get to do it this time, I guess it will motivate me to work hard and come back!!

    Click HERE to read more about Lindsay and all her blogs

  • Lindsay, Outbound to France

    To start off with, exchange isn’t all rainbows and butterflies. My exchange so far has had its share of ups and downs. There have been days when I want nothing more than to go home, and if you're a future outbound, I am sure you will have days like this, as well. Exchange is not the easiest thing in the world. From the outside looking in, it appears like a year vacation or just traveling by yourself with the help from Rotary. But, really this is probably the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. One of the biggest Challenges while on exchange is trying to deal with all the emotions... I have been Happy, sad, lonely, confused (a lot) and exhausted. With that being said, this will be the best experience of your life. They say after 3 months in your country it gets easier. I have recently passed my 3-month mark, and it has gotten a lot easier. I have noticed, especially within the last week that I am understanding a lot more and starting to process French faster. Also, now I am a lot less homesick and I'm even considering moving back in a couple years. When I first got to France, I was so in love ( mostly because I was still in the honeymoon stage) and then I was getting really homesick and questioning why I was here and wanted to return to The U.S. But, now that I’ve really adjusted, I can see this country for what it really is, beautiful. I am really starting to enjoy the food, especially. if you know me, you know I HATE cheese. Well, I'm actually kind of starting to like cheese now. I honestly love the lifestyle I live here, I exercise more often and I eat better both in quality and in health. The last time I weighed myself I had lost 7 pounds, but now I think I am starting to gain it all back because of the constant boulangerie trips. I think this is the first time in my life where I am genuinely happy. As, I said earlier it’s not all rainbows and butterflies and of course I have my bad days but I am truly happy here. I really cannot imagine having to return back to reality and to my old life. it is going to be absolutely heart-breaking and I am not looking forward to that day. Originally I had planned to come home in may for graduation and walk with my class but as time goes on, the more and more I fall in love with the food, culture, people and the country. As time goes on, the more I never want to leave. I want to take a second and thank every single person who has made this adventure possible for me because It is truly the adventure of a lifetime. As some people know, I was not guaranteed to go on exchange and I was " wait listed". But I prayed every night and I wished on every eyelash that I would be able to experience this . I know God sent me to France for a reason and I cannot wait to find out why. I am incredibly blessed and thankful for all of the people I have met on the way, all the new experiences I have been able to experience, all the new food I have tried and all of the love I have found within myself and the world around me.

    Click HERE to read more about Lindsay and all her blogs

  • Lindsay, Outbound to France

    WOW! I can't believe I have already been in France for a month!!!! Time Is going by so fast... Over the past month I have done sooooooo much. I've started school, attended inbound orientation, and have even visited Paris!!! I'm not sure where to start so I guess I will start with school. School is so confusing and it's very frustrating, due to the fact that I can't express my wants and needs or even understand A lot. Also, making french friends has not been the easiest because literally Almost no one in France speaks English, with that being said... if you're going to France please study your french before you leave!!! I enjoy french school because it is set up like college, you go to a class and have a break, the only thing is my school days are so long I go from school from 8-6 and get home around 7pm. But during my breaks, I always stop at the boulangerie ( I will probably come home fat because of all of the pastries I'm eating). Inbound orientation was A lot of fun, we hiked in the mountains, went on a boat ride in lake Annecy, and met other exchange students. Finally, Paris was absolutely incredible and super beautiful. While I was there, I visited the louvre, Notre Dame, and the Eiffel tower. I am so blessed to have 3 incredible host families that I have been able to meet and spend time with. I am especially thankful for my first family, as they have been so patient with me as I learn and adapt to french culture. I love France A lot. The architecture, The pastries, The kissing on the cheeks, The scenery; It is all so incredible. Though I love France, I also miss America A lot. I miss my friends, family, oh and chick fil a!!!

    Click HERE to read more about Lindsay and all her blogs

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