The student news site of Hollis Brookline High School

The CavChron

The student news site of Hollis Brookline High School

The CavChron

The student news site of Hollis Brookline High School

The CavChron

Bonjour Belgium: Gina Anton Studies Abroad Her Senior Year

Gina+Anton+poses+with+her+dog%2C+Ollie.+Anton+will+miss+Ollie+during+her+exchange+year+abroad+in+Belgium.+%7C+Courtesy+Anton
Gina Anton poses with her dog, Ollie. Anton will miss Ollie during her exchange year abroad in Belgium. | Courtesy Anton

As the end of the school year approaches, Hollis Brookline High School (HBHS) students look forward to the future. While seniors have already thrown their caps and gowns, current juniors excitingly await senior year. 

They have a full to-do list ahead: college applications, sports senior nights, prom and graduation. Current junior Gina Anton has one extra task on her to-do list: study abroad in Belgium.

Anton has always had a connection with foreign languages. “I used to live in France for middle school and I speak French with my mom,” she explained.

After returning back to the United States for high school, she has continued to develop her French skills. In an academic setting, she has quickly progressed through the French classes at HBHS and is currently taking AP French Language and Culture, an advanced college-level class. 

With an interest in continually improving, her next step was to go abroad. “I really want to use my French more, so I put countries on my list that I could use my French in for my last year of high school,” Anton said.

Anton decided to work with the Hollis Brookline Rotary Club through their Long-Term Youth Exchange Program. After applying and ranking her country preferences, Anton received Belgium as her destination.

Since she couldn’t return to France, this was a logical alternative. She explained that while part of Belgium speaks Dutch, there is also a significant region that speaks French. 

With this drastic change, Anton knows there will be some challenges. Mainly, she is going to miss her family and her dog, Ollie. “I’m going to miss him a lot because I’ve had him since he was a puppy and he’s my best friend,” she explained. 

Still, she hopes to alleviate part of this challenge by continuously staying connected through methods like Facetime. She takes comfort in knowing that her dog will be here when she returns. 

In contrast, Anton is also very enthusiastic about the upcoming changes in her life. “I’m excited to go to school because it’s a really different school system than it is in America,” said Anton.

Additionally, she has some other plans she is excited about. “My expectations are to make a lot of friends that also speak French, to eat good food, to visit some of my family in France and to go on trips and see more of the world,” Anton said.

Even with so many new experiences, she hopes to revisit some of the activities that she originally did in France. “I used to play soccer when I was a kid, so maybe I’ll get back into that going back to Europe,” she said.

In response to this decision, Anton’s friends were very surprised. “My friends were kind of shocked but they were like ‘Wow this is really cool,’” she explained. 

Her family had a similar reaction. “My family was like ‘This is crazy—kudos to you—we’re going to miss you,’” Anton said. 

‘“Okay sounds good, I’ll see you in a year,”’ Anton said in response, as she gets ready to leave for Belgium late this summer.

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About the Contributor
Mason Marshall
Mason Marshall, Arts & Entertainment Editor
Mason Marshall ‘25 is a first-year journalism student and is ready to conquer the world of reporting all things news for CavChron!  He is interested in incorporating a wide range of opinions through interviewing lots of people in the HB community.  In 2024, Mason begins his new monthly column, HBHS Happiness Journal, in hopes of highlighting joy and positivity in the community. When he’s not being a STEM-wizz in the HBHS Science Olympiad and Math Teams, Mason loves to race down the slope on the HBHS Alpine Ski Team.  Anytime it snows, you are bound to catch him somewhere on the mountain chasing the powder.  Mason is also an avid lover of all things National Parks and outdoors, so sun or snow he will likely be on some form of trail.  He also loves supporting the local community through his involvement as the HBHS Red Cross Club Vice President.  Fun fact: Mason has donated his blood!    Awards: Best of SNO: Conan Gray Finds New Sound with ‘Found Heaven’

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