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Besançon, France: French Language Studies (Summer)
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Robin Moussa

Liberal Arts Major(s): Criminology, Philosophy
Minor: French
Hometown: Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

What was the best part of your experience?

The best part of my experience was having the opportunity to form relationships with people from all over the world. I got so close with my French host family during my stay (and we're still in touch!) as well as with other language students from China, Japan, Brazil, Canada, Saudi Arabia, and more. It is amazing to learn a language surrounded by others with whom you can only communicate in your target language and who have entirely different backgrounds and experiences. Despite our differences, we all had so much in common beyond learning French, and the world feels a lot smaller now.

Knowing a second language and having a more global perspective has changed me as a person and is invaluable regardless of the field I pursue

How did this experience impact you academically?

This study abroad experience allowed me to finish my French minor in the best possible way: in France, immersed in the language and culture and forced to challenge myself by living my entire life using my target language. The classes themselves were rigorous and accelerated my improvement in every aspect of understanding and communicating in French. I also had the opportunity to take the DELF exam while I was abroad to work toward a concrete goal and test my French skills against an objective standard. I am still not fluent, but I would feel so much more comfortable and competent talking to a francophone, translating a French document, or sending an email in French now than before my study abroad experience.

How will this experience impact your career goals?

My French minor is not directly related to my career goals in the sense that I will use my language skills in the workplace, but knowing a second language and having a more global perspective has changed me as a person and is invaluable regardless of the field I pursue. I personally plan to continue working in politics after I graduate. I believe that living in another country and learning from and with people from all over the world helps me approach people from all walks of life with an open mind and a sense of solidarity and global community that I did not have before.

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