Meet our guest blogger, Elise! We asked her to share her story of French adventures, which all started with a Family Stay as a teenager.
« Douce France “Sweet France
Cher pays de mon enfance Dear country of my childhood
Bercée de tendre insouciance Cradled in tender carelessness
Je t’ai gardée dans mon cœur » I have kept you in my heart”
Charles Tenet, 1943
I didn’t actually spend my childhood in France, but in high school I was a Rotary Youth Exchange Student and spent my junior year in a lycée in Brittany, France. Staying with a family was an incredible experience, which I will discuss more in a future blog post, on its own; it also motivated me to study abroad in France, an experience that changed my life.
Like a master key that unlocks all doors, learning French revealed for me cultures and peoples all around the globe.
French is the official language of 29 countries. Its romantic overtures have been weaved into music and works of art for centuries. As a language of diplomacy, luxury, love, and fashion, knowing French has considerably broadened my horizons and deepened my understanding of the world around me. At university, I studied Political Science but was interested in expanding the scope of my studies beyond the political status quo in “the West.”
Because I had learned French, I was able to spend 6 months in West Africa analyzing international development in the country of Mali.
I was fortunate to spend several weeks with a club of mothers in the town of Segu where I faced the realities of colonialism and global poverty. Working alongside the mothers, I experienced the triumphs and pitfalls of women’s empowerment projects. [Read more…] about How a Séjour en France Can Change Your Life