Story by Kira Ford, Pine Whispers
Video by Helen Tennyon, Black and Gold
Rather than starting a job down the street or moving into a college dorm this fall, senior Kendall Kane will be settling into her new life in Bordeaux, a city in the south of France.
Starting this September, Kane will be working as an au pair, or a live-in nanny. The family she will be working for and living with until next June are friends of Kane’s family and provided the perfect opportunity for the high school senior looking to spend time abroad before beginning college.
Two of the children Kane will be looking after are ages 2 and 3, and the mother is due to give birth in September. Both parents are French, but the mother speaks English fluently, which could be helpful to Kane as she navigates her new life in France, a country she has never even visited before.
Aside from her time with the family, Kane also plans to take French classes, which will help her reach her goal of becoming fluent and also fulfill the requirements to obtain a student visa.
“I am most excited to be independent and on my own out there and to become fluent in French. Also, I just really like babies,” Kane said.
She plans to return to the States next summer and will begin attending the University of North Carolina at Asheville in the fall. When applying to schools at the beginning of her senior year, Kane only chose schools that allowed her to accept admission, then defer her acceptance for a year, and Asheville met that requirement.
Her decision to postpone her freshman year of college was fueled by her desire to travel and gain experience before diving into another four years of school. Spending a school year in France after studying French throughout high school seemed like a neat alternative to going straight into college after graduation.
“I decided that this is what I wanted to do and I was going to figure out how to do it,” Kane said.
Aside from the unique experience and the improvement of her French, Kane will also have all of her living expenses paid for by the family and she will receive a small salary in addition to that. She has yet to write up a contract with the family, but they are required to give her time off, which she can use to relax and explore the country outside of Bordeaux.
Kane said her only concern about the trip is how she is going to make friends her own age, considering the majority of her time will be spent with children under the age of 3. This may not be much of an issue, however, because she will spend much of her remaining time in class with peers who are also learning to speak French.
Kane’s family and friends are excitedly awaiting the opportunity to see her grow and learn aws she begins this next chapter of her life.
“I think she’s very brave to be going alone on such an adventure and I hope she enjoys herself,” senior Eliza Hopkins said.
Editor’s Note: Senior Spotlight stories appeared in the May 2015 print edition of Pine Whispers. Yearbook students completed video projects on a number of RJR seniors that also will appear on the newspaper website. Enjoy!