Posted By: Career Enrichment Network9094983383_95e76eba78_zStacy Justo, Majoring in French and Francophone Studies and Economics, with Minors in Arabic and Business and the Liberal Arts

I took part in the Montpellier Integrated program, I thought this was an awesome program because our group had the chance of taking courses with the native French students that attended the university. I saw that my other friend’s did the program last spring, and that it was highly recommended so I went for it. I can say my French is a million times better. In fact, almost fluent!       

I took part in the program in spring 2015 because it was my junior year, and I thought the weather would be nicer in the spring time. I definitely avoided a huge storm back in the states.

My ultimate is goal is to become a diplomat. Studying abroad has only made me want to work that much harder to achieve my goal, because I had the chance to travel around Europe and experience different cultures. In addition, I made so many connections with the new French friends that I’ve made abroad.  I could only imagine what it’d be like once I become a diplomat. I have received Enrichment Funding from The College of Liberal Arts       .

My recommendations for students considering going abroad- Stay in a host family if you want to improve your language tenfold…literally. Make friends with the people who live in the country where you’re studying abroad! They are the best ones to show around everything without you getting lost all the time, especially because they’re locals. They’re also the best ones to talk to if you want to improve, because they can teach you slang or the way one expresses themselves naturally! And don’t worry about gaining weight because you can always work that off.

My French language has improved tremendously. I can express myself much better, and I’ve learned a lot about the political and social situation in France. The entire experience I had living with a host family was beyond anything I could’ve ever imagined. Not only had my host mom made me feel like I was a part of her family, but I also felt that she was a part of mine. In fact, she considers me one of her kids! I became extremely close to her, and my host cousin that was living in the house with us while she was preparing for her concours (national college entrance exam). Since she’s from Nice, I got to visit her when she went back and her dad took my dad and I to Monaco and the cities leading up to it. It was an unbelievable experience, and of course it goes beyond the program because we’ve all formed such a close bond with each other. I keep in touch with my host siblings and my host mom keeps me up to date with her family, while my host cousin and I joke around like we used to. Definitely recommend this to anyone!

Interested in studying abroad next Spring? Spring applications are due May 1st. All Liberal Arts students studying or interning abroad are eligible for Enrichment Funding. To learn more, please schedule an appointment via Network Symplicity or email Jackie Smith,Global ExperiencesCoordinator (jds54@psu.edu) 

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