American tradition embraced by foreign exchange student

BHS exchange student earns high school diploma


Virginia Planque and her parents, Alain and Laurence, proudly stand beside Virginia who holds her diploma. (EXAMINER PHOTO | HALEY COOPER)

An American graduation.

After translating what seemed like an endless amount of transcripts from France, Virginia Planque walked across the stage Sunday with the rest of her fellow senior classmates at Bellefontaine High School and received a diploma.

“Originally it was my mom’s (Laurence Planque) idea,” said Virginia. “There was an exchange student from the United States who came to France and graduated in France with a high school diploma. My mom called me and asked me if I would be able to do that, that way I could go onto the university with the rest of my friends.”

Virginia is the first foreign exchange student to graduate high school from the Rotary Exchange program in Logan County. Virginia’s father, Alain Planque, is a Rotarian in France, and the Bellefontaine Rotary Club helped to set up three host families for Virginia to stay with while attending BHS during the past school year. She will be staying a few weeks longer than Rotary originally anticipated because of her emotional connection with her friends and “family” in America.

Most foreign exchange students walk across the stage with the rest of their class, but don’t physically receive an American diploma, and then have to return to their home country to repeat their senior year.

Read complete story in Friday's Examiner.


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