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IAU College: Aix-en-Provence, School of Humanities and Social Sciences
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Hannah Oleynik

Liberal Arts Major(s): Political Science
Minor: French and Francophone Studies
Hometown: State College, Pennsylvania
Experience Time: Fall 2019

Give us a brief summary of your experience?

I arrived in Aix-en-Provence in September with the goal of improving my French skills and learning more about French society. Through this experience, I have had the opportunity to accomplish these goals, meet people from across the United States and the world, and explore the South of France.

I am able to return to the United States in a few weeks with an improved ability and confidence in speaking French and a much fuller understanding of French society.

How did this experience impact you academically?

Through living with a French-speaking host family, this experience has given me the opportunity to fully immerse myself in the French language and culture. I am able to return to the United States in a few weeks with an improved ability and confidence in speaking French and a much fuller understanding of French society.

How will this experience impact your career goals?

As someone who is double-majoring in Labor and Employment Relations, I've enjoyed learning about the differences in American and French work cultures through my Business French class. I feel like I now more fully understand the positives and negatives to French employment structure, and this is knowledge that I will carry with me as I pursue a career in employment law.

How has the College of the Liberal Arts helped you to find and/or succeed in this experience (e.g., adviser, faculty, staff, enrichment funds, etc.)?

The College of Liberal Arts was very helpful in both helping me find a program that worked best for my majors and minors and in helping me fund this experience. Thanks to the enrichment funding I received, the financial burden on my family was lessened, and I was able to take advantage of more of the opportunities that living in Europe presents, like travel.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

The Paterno Fellows Program has given me the skills to face the challenge of living and learning in another language. The skills I've gained from my honors classes have made me more adept at adapting to challenges and taught me to think about cultural differences in a broader context.

For more information on global opportunities for Liberal Arts students, visit our website. 
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