Over the course of the last six years, Habitat Lake-Sumter has opened its doors to interns seeking studying abroad opportunities. This summer we welcomed two interns from France, Adrien and Matthieu, to join our team. For two months they spent time learning about Habitat’s role in the community and acquiring new construction skills.
Adrien and Matthieu are from Nantes, France and are currently enrolled in the engineering program at École Centrale de Nantes. Matthieu is studying architecture and Adrien is studying civil engineering. Learning American mannerisms and culture, Florida way of life, on top of foreign construction skills and training seemed challenging, but the pair acclimated themselves almost seamlessly. The two students enjoyed their experience and learning the difference in building techniques between France and America. Learning to build a wood frame home was a very different experience for Matthieu, as France builds concrete homes. As for Adrien, building a home was completely out of his element as his training is predominantly in civil engineering and planning.
Despite the significant differences in what they were accustomed to, the two students welcomed their new surroundings and teachings with eagerness and were dedicated to learning each new task presented. Roofing as well as carpentry was a first-time experience for both Adrien and Matthieu. When asked what skills they enjoyed learning the most, Adrien admits that his favorite skill was constructing interior walls; while Matthieu preferred learning flooring.
However, it wasn’t all work and no play. The two had the chance to tour popular Florida cities such as Orlando, St. Augustine, and Miami; and even visited Manhattan, NY and toured Times Square and the museums.
Matthieu and Adrien helped tremendously in our new construction builds, furthering our impact and mission to serve our communities with decent, safe, and affordable housing.
“Being here with Habitat was very nice. Everyone was so warm and welcoming. We hope to come back and visit in the future and see the homes we helped to build.”- Matthieu & Adrien