French exchange student joins colorguard

by Katie Barton | Editor-In-Chief

As French Foreign exchange student, junior Olivia Ghilardi, begins to walk on the field in her twirling uniform it strikes her just how momentous it is that she has made it this far in her twirling and in color guard in such little time. 

Ghilardi wanted to become an exchange student after hearing about her mother doing the same during her time in school. And so she began the process of becoming an exchange student. 

“I had to find a company and they have to find you a host family,” Ghilardi said.

Junior Olivia Ghilardi getting ready to twirl at a football.
Junior Olivia Ghilardi getting ready to twirl at a football game. Photo curtesy of Olivia Ghilardi.

After finding a host family, Ghilardi traveled here and joined our school’s color guard after watching videos of color guard on youtube.

“Before I went there I just saw a video of a performance, a show, and I just really liked it,” Ghilardi said. “I was interested and I just like I want to try it.”

Ghilardi’ was completely new to color guard when she joined though she did have some prior experience as a twirler, and she was not able to attend band camp so she had to work hard to catch up with the members and get used to the band’s lengthy schedule.

“We have a lot of practice and sometimes it can be very tiring, but honestly it’s ok,” Ghilardi said. “Because I’m a twirler It was pretty easy for me to learn all the choreography.”

Though the band program is intense it’s also a great way to meet people. 

“It helped me to have friends, because in class I don’t really talk to other people, but because I spend a lot of time in color guard I have to speak to people,” Ghilardi said. “So it’s why now like this is all like my family.”

Ghilardi’s school in Lyon, France did not have electives like we do here.

Junior Olivia Ghilardi in her color guard costume getting ready on the bus for competition.
Junior Olivia Ghilardi in her color guard costume getting ready on the bus for competition.Photo curtesy of Olivia Ghilardi.

“We don’t have much activities in France,” Ghilardi said. “School it’s pretty boring in France, it’s just class.” 

While Ghilardi is in Texas she has some goals for herself.

“Improve my English and just have fun,” Ghilardi said.

Ghildardi does miss some things about France. 

“Probably the bread and the food,” Ghilardi said. “I guess my family and my friends. I was homesick but now I’m okay.”

So far though, Ghilardi has enjoyed her experience with the color guard and marching band.

“When we perform with everyone, because most of my friends are in color guard, it’s really, really fun,” Ghilardi said.

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