Nebraska Wesleyan University student Marion Prudhomme spent the afternoon of Friday, November 13 shopping at a nearby thrift store. She was excited to show her purchase to fellow French international student and friend Emilie Triboulet.
But the excitement quickly turned to fear and sadness when Triboulet told Prudhomme about the terrorist attacks that had just happened in their home country.
Prudhomme immediately called her boyfriend whose sister works at the Bataclan, a Paris music venue and site of the terrorist attacks.
“But she wasn’t there that night,” Prudhomme said, relieved.
“I called my mother as soon as I read the news,” recalled Triboulet. “Luckily everyone in my family was fine.”
Watching the news from afar was difficult, said the French students.
“We would like to go there and stay with our people. Us French are indestructible together,” said Triboulet.
In the days following the attack, Prudhomme found comfort in talking to her grandmother. Triboulet turned to friends and social media to stay informed on any developments.
“At a certain point I wanted to get disconnected from it all,” she admitted.
It’s not the first time Paris was targeted by terroristic activities. In January the headquarters of the satirical journal Charlie Hebdo was bombed, causing 28 deaths.
“After what happened in January, I grew more patriotic,” said Triboulet.
“Back then, people marched all together,” added Prudhomme.
Prudhomme and Triboulet recently gave a presentation on their country to the International Relations Organization, a student organization. Their presentation highlighted how the French stand together regardless of differences in race, political, or religious beliefs.
Triboulet will return to France in December while Prudhomme will return in May.
Both said they won’t forget their Nebraska Wesleyan experience.
“People here are very nice all the time,” said Prudhomme.
“I also love every little moment in the day spent with my friends here,” said Triboulet. “It’s wonderful to even chat about the tiniest facts.”
Story by Alessandro Schirano, Public Relations Intern