Au revoir France, hello America!
Pascack Valley sophomore Liam Sandt lived in France for the majority of his life
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On Aug. 18, 2015, Liam Sandt and his family travelled 4,000 miles from France, stopped for a nine hour layover in Iceland, and finally touched ground in the United States.
Liam Sandt, a PV sophomore, lived in France for the majority of his life. He lived in a town northwest of Paris which was about a five-minute train ride to the city. The proximity of all the countries in Europe allowed him to be able to travel to many places in a short amount of time.
“I could take a four-hour car ride and be in Germany, or a two-hour ride and be in Belgium,” Liam Sandt said. “A two-hour train ride and I’m in London.”
Liam Sandt frequented the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre, and other famous tourist attractions. His favorite place to see and hang out with friends was the Gare Saint Lazare Train Station, which is in Paris, France.
Liam Sandt was 14 when he moved to the United States. He moved because his father is American while his mother is French and his father found a higher up job in money exchange. Also, a lot of his family lives in the Bergen County area.
Liam Sandt has two sisters, Justine Sandt, a senior at Immaculate Heart Academy, and Gabrielle Sandt, a seventh grader at George White Middle School.
Liam Sandt had played rugby for two years, swam three times a week, and went running occasionally. Here at Pascack Valley he does cross country in the fall, swimming in the winter, and track and field in the spring.
Liam Sandt’s favorite aspects of the United States are the positive attitude people have towards each other and the school systems. According to Liam Sandt, in France the teachers do not have a friendly or close relationship with the students.
“The students learn and the teachers teach… But here in the United States, you actually get to talk and become friends with the teachers,” Liam Sandt said.
School is different in France in other ways. Students start the school day at eight in the morning and finish at five in the afternoon, with 11 different courses, each course being an hour long. Also, according to Liam Sandt, the schools have no school spirit.
So far, Liam Sandt has been to Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Vermont, and Virginia. He would like to travel to the West Coast and tour the National Parks, such as the Yosemite National Park and the Redwood National State Park in California, and Death Valley in eastern California and Nevada.
“I can’t choose between France and the United States because there are so many pros and cons on each side,” Liam Sandt said.
Liam Sandt misses France everyday. He misses his friends and family and was not able to attend his Great Grandmother’s funeral because he was in the U.S.
Katherine Sandt, Liam’s cousin and a sophomore at Pascack Valley, feels that it is natural having Liam here.
“Liam moved to France from the United States in 5th grade, so when he came back, it felt normal,” Katherine Sandt said.
Katherine Sandt also believes having Liam Sandt here has made their relationship grow stronger. Both of their families meet often because they now live such a short distance from each other.
“When I’m here, I miss France, and when I’m in France, I miss here,” Liam Sandt said.
Although he misses France, Liam Sandt enjoys his time here at Pascack Valley with his friends and family who live here.
“There’s a society in Pascack Valley, and at school in France, there was nothing,” Liam Sandt said.