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Jessica, exchange student & TAPIF in Strasbourg

Why did you decide to study abroad in France?

After declaring a French major my sophomore year in college, I decided to study abroad in France as it offered the opportunity to deepen my understanding of French culture, to develop my knowledge of the French language, and to gain invaluable international experience.

How has your experience in France contributed to your personal and professional goals?

 My experience in France led me to discover how truly passionate I am about the French language and culture. It is now more than ever important to me to find opportunities to use French in both my personal and professional life. After graduating from college, I returned to France with the TAPIF (Teaching Assistant Program in France) as I wanted to build upon my study abroad experience and share the language and culture I grew up knowing with French students. 

Can you tell us a little anecdote or memory that happened during your stay in France?

On one of the first weekends after arriving in Strasbourg, I remember sitting around the table in my host parents' backyard with their children and their families. It was a beautiful sunny day in early September and the table was filled with delicious food that my host mother had prepared. Though everyone at the table was so welcoming and kind, I had only recently met them and was feeling a bit homesick. I sat there a little uneasy as I tried to keep up with the conversation. I remember looking from one person to the next as they spoke in such fluid and fast French. Everyone's attention turned to me as someone asked me a question. I remember how unnatural it felt, and probably sounded, as I spoke while searching for the right French words and translations. I enjoy looking back at my memory of this meal because it reminds me of how much changed between my arrival and departure. Family meals such as this one were a common occurrence during my nine month stay in France, and with each meal I felt more comfortable using my French and more a part of their family. By the time I left France, I considered Strasbourg a second home and I had grown to love my host family as true family.

In one sentence, for you, study in France means....

Study is France means great adventure and experience that will lead you to develop a lasting confidence and an appreciation for people, culture, and language. Profitez!