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Déjeuner sur l'herbe

Why did you decide to study abroad in France? 

Bryn Valeer, Chief Marketing and Professional Development Officer at Dorsey & Whitney LLP

By the end of my first year of college, I was in love with French language, literature and history.  I knew the only way to really immerse myself was to go study in France.  I spent a summer in Paris at the Sorbonne.  I was overwhelmed with the culture and the beauty.  I went home, declared my major in French literature and planned a full year of study in France.  I spent my junior year at the University of Besançon.  My professors in France were inspirational.  I’ve never worked harder or enjoyed studying more.

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

My experience in France has given me a broader perspective on life, both personally and professionally.  It has made me a better reader, writer and thinker in any language.  It led me to marry into the culture, and I have two beautiful Franco-American daughters to show for it.

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

In the mid-1970s, while studying in France, I attended an exposition by a group of young Parisian art students in a tiny old church in a small town in Auvergne.  François Mitterrand, who had just lost the 1974 presidential election to Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, dropped by unannounced.  After reviewing the art and complimenting the students, he joined us all for an outdoor lunch.  I sat next to him.  He was brilliant and utterly charming.

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

For me, study in France means opening doors to a life-long passion for a language, literature, history, culture and people.