Study Abroad Profiles

Ashley

 

Ashley

Ashley, where will you be In October 2014?
A: I will be somewhere in the area of Lille, North of France, near Belgium, one hour from Paris by the fast train.
What will you do?

A: I will be an English assistant, which means that I will teach English language and American culture to French students in secondary schools.
            Will you be payed?
A: yes, around 800 euros per months, for  12 hours of official work, but that does not include lesson planning or  any extra-curricular activities.  I might also try to work as an English tutor also to make some extra money
            Where will you live?
A: I’m not sure.  Some assistants have free lodging, depending on the assignment, but normally you have to find your own lodging when you arrive.  Assistants are considered like French citizens and get some financial help from the government to pay for lodging as they don’t make a lot of money.  There is a lot of paperwork, but it’s worth it.
            How did you find this job?
A: There was a poster for the assistant program next to the French classroom, it’s a program by the French Ministry of Education.  I applied online.  You need 2 references, one for French, who will vouch that you have the equivalent of a B1 level (as defined by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages) and another general reference for academic  achievement.    There are no interviews but you need to write an essay of around 500 words explaining why you want to be an assistant.  It costs 40 $ to apply. 
            What do you study at WOU?
A: I study for a major in English with an emphasis in linguistics and a minor in French. 
            Do you need a French minor to apply to the assistantship program?
A: Most people who apply have at least a minor in French, but the only requirement is that you have the level B1, which is supposed to be the proficiency level you need to get by in France.
            What were your motivations to apply for this job?
A: I want to improve my French, live like French people do, gain experience teaching English (I have a TEFL certificate) and travel in Europe.
            What do you plan to do when you come back?
A: Maybe study for a Masters in TEFL and teach English to foreigners.
            What do you think is important for students to know before they apply for the assistantship program?
A: The program recommends that assistants have 2000$ to start their stay in France, as the first payment is made in November.
           

 

 

Kacy

Kacy

 

 

What is your name?
Kacy
What is your Major?
I am an English major with a Literature focus
What is your Minor/ Focus
I have French as my minor.
Where are you going for your study abroad experience?
I will be going to Aix-en-Provence, France
When are you going and for how long?
I am going for the term of fall 2013 for four months leaving at the end of August to complete a week early program before my official school starts in early September for the term
Why did you decide to go on an exchange?
I decided to go abroad because it is a good time in my life for me to do so. I won’t ever be as free of commitments nor have as much support to go as I will now. I also want to see what truly immersing myself in another culture will feel like. I also hope that by immersing myself in the language I will be able to be a more fluent speaker. I also decided to go on the exchange to see if French language is something I want to pursue further. I am considering changing my major to French.
What do you hope to get out of it?
I hope to get a lifelong experience that I will be able to look back on. I hope to see myself as having grown as a person when I am finished and to have taken every chance that was given to me. I also hope to be a better speaker of the language and to feel more comfortable with speaking in front of people I don’t know. I also hope to be more sociable as a result of interacting with a lot of different types of people.


rebekah

Rebekah

 

What is your name?
Rebekah
 What is your Major?
 Public policy and administration with an international focus
What is your Minor/ Focus?
French
Where are you going for your study abroad experience?
Angers, France
 When are you going, and for how long?
I leave January Jan. 31, 2011 and will be gone for 4 months until June 5, 2011

Why did you decide to go on an exchange?
I decided to go on an exchange because I really want to experience another culture and become better at French. I also am required to go for my major.
What do you hope to get out of it?
I hope to meet a lot of people and create good friends. I also hope to have the experience of a life time!

emilia

Emilia

What is your name?
 Emilia
 What is your Major?
 Geography 
What is your Minor/ Focus?
French
Where are you going for your study abroad experience?
Angers, France
 When are you going, and for how long?
Leaving August 20th 210, returning January 25 2011
Why did you decide to go on an exchange?
I love to travel and experience new cultures. I am minoring in French and feel my skill level will take off living in the language. I want an adventure :)
What do you hope to get out of it?
I hope to learn a lot and feel good about my French speaking ability. Meet interesting people and have a broader view of the world and myself.

MariaMaria

 

What is your name?
Maria
What do you study?
I am majoring in International Studies:Europe and minoring in The Arts
Where, when and how long did you go for your study abroad experience?
I was there from the end of January 2008-Beginning of June 2009
What were your motivations before going?
I really wanted to study somewhere and I chose France because I love
French culture and food.

How was your exchange?
Fantastic!!
What was the hardest thing for you?
Being away from home.
What was the greatest thing for you?
Everything! I loved all the amazing food, the friends I made, the
places I traveled, the experiences I had and the independence I
gained.

Would you recommend your experience to other students?
Definitely! Now is the time to go!

Natalie

Natalie

Before:
What is your name?
          Natalie
What is your Major?
          Early and Elementary Education
What is your Minor/ Focus?
          French, European History
Where are you going for your study abroad experience?
          Angers, France
When are you going, and for how long?
          Spring semester 2009 (Feb-June)
Why did you decide to go on an exchange?
          I have always been fascinated with languages and the exchange program gives me the chance to learn French by using it everyday. I believe that every student should participate in study abroad to help them truly understand another part of our world.
What do you hope to get out of it?
          I would like to meet lots of people and learn about the French culture while    improving my knowledge of the language. I hope to learn how to travel by myself and figure out the metro system in Paris. I also plan on traveling on the weekends and would like to visit other places in Europe.

After:
How was your exchange?
Overall I had an amazing time in Angers! It was fun making another city my home and getting know a different group of people. My classes were interesting and at a good level for me. I got along with with my host parents. And, most of all, I am now confident in my abilities to travel around Europe successfully!
 What was the hardest thing for you?
I chose to stay for 1 month after my program ended so I could travel around Europe. It was very hard for me to say goodbye to my friends and know that they were all going home. By the end I was feeling pretty homesick and it was really difficult to stay for another month. I would recommend doing the traveling before, during school breaks, and limit it to only a short time after the program ends.
What was the greatest thing for you?
I made some wonderful friends during my stay in France! Some were French, but I also got to know the other Americans in my group and made deep friendships with them. We were linked in our love of learning about another culture and language. Also, it's very easy to have memorable adventures with people when you are exploring another country!
Would you recommend your experience to other students?
I really enjoyed my time in France and would definitely recommend it to other students! It will change the way you look at yourself and your culture. Plus, it just so much fun!

Krista

Krista

Before:
What is your name?
Krista
What is your Major?
Social Science
What is your Minor/ Focus?
French
Where are you going for your study abroad experience?
Angers, France
When are you going, and for how long?
From the end of August to the end of December 2008 (about 4 months)
Why did you decide to go on an exchange?
1. It may be one of the only times that I am able to travel outside of the United States.
2. Advantages for future career goals.
What do you hope to get out of it?
A better understanding of French: language, customs, culture, etc.

After:
How was your exchange?
Honestly, the majority of my exchange was a great and rewarding experience, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t have its moments. Like in life I had to decide what I was going to let bother me and when I was going to just ‘go with the follow’…which is almost always the best idea. Once I accepted that I was in another country and things are different it was relatively easy to adapt my lifestyle.
What was the hardest thing for you?
I would say depending on public transportation. During my exchange, I lived in a ‘suburb’ about 7 km from central Angers and the university which meant I was limited by the bus schedule. This wasn’t a problem during the day, but made for extra planning on nights and weekends…especially if I was traveling out of town (Taxis are expensive and should be avoided). 
What was the greatest thing for you?
Being there…I know it sounds cheesy, but there are so many things that I cannot accurately explain and others that I don’t want to share. I bonded with a unique group of French, American and other international students and those experiences will remain with me forever. In conjunction with this was the ability and accessibility to travel. Studying abroad really is an opportunity to see and understand the world.
Would you recommend your experience to other students?
I can understand how fear and anxiety would make some skeptical, but it truly is a once in a lifetime experience that I would recommend to anyone who would listen.

shawna

Shawna

What is your name?
Shawna
What do you study?
International Studies with a minor in Linguistics.
Where, when and how long did you go for your study abroad experience?
I studied in Poitiers, France, from August 2008-May 2009.
What were your motivations before going?
I had planned for a couple of years to study in France, and I particularly desired to stay the full academic year to get the fullest experience possible.
How was your exchange?
My exchange was beyond amazing. Although there were things I might have done differently, I don't regret a bit of it. It's difficult at times, but it's completely worth it.
What was the hardest thing for you?
The first most difficult thing I experienced was Thanksgiving.  It's the first holiday away from home, and to everyone else in the world it's just another Thursday.  The second most difficult thing was leaving France, even though it's exciting to go home, the sense of it being over can be hard to cope with.
What was the greatest thing for you?
The greatest thing was feeling integrated into their culture and society, even if only for a few moments.
Would you recommend your experience to other students?
Absolutely, even if you don't study in Poitiers, or even in France, go somewhere.  The experience is life-altering in the best way possible.