When I think about my time in Nancy, France during the 1998-1999 Academic Year, two words come to mind: life-changing! I had always wanted to study abroad in France, more so when my family was paired with a French Student from Lille when I was in Elementary School. Yet, I did not realize the impact that my year in France and certainly, with my host family, would have on my life and my career on a daily basis.
As a French teacher, my language skills are used every day. Although there were times when I felt that I would never make it through the day because my brain was so tired, I am proud to say that I am bilingual! In the classroom this helps considerably when I need to remind students that hard work and positive attitude will help them through the challenging aspects of 2nd Language Acquisition.
As a person, I learned so much about myself that year. I can't put it into words, but it was a life-changing experience of the best kind: as pivotal as the day that each of my children was born. As a member of a family, I was lucky enough to experience many parts of French Culture that I may have missed if I had stayed in a dorm. In fact, I see my French Family every two years when I return with students to France!
Nancy and the FAC was a wonderful place to study as a student. The professors were challenging and the classes were different than anything that I had ever experienced up to that point. Every time I teach about "Art Nouveau, " I recall the trips with Mme Daum to the Musee de Beaux Arts or when I discuss literature, I still refer to my notes for M. Beckers' class. At the time, I had no idea the impact the whole experience would have on my life. Now, however, I am grateful that I was able to live that year as it has helped to shape me into the person I am today.