French & African Studies Major, Georgetown University 2010 / CUPA Spring 2009
My semester at CUPA in Paris affected my path beyond college and opened my eyes to the possibility of an international life. I found that I loved numerous aspects of studying and living abroad – immersing myself in a different culture, exploring a new city to the point of making it feel like “home”, meeting people from all over the world, and of course developing a greater level of proficiency in a foreign language. As a French major with a certificate in African Studies, people often asked me what I planned to do after graduation. “What can you do with French? Teach?” Studying in Paris made me realize what a practical skill proficiency in another language is, and the multitude of opportunities that it brings you. After my BA, I received a fellowship with Princeton in Africa and moved to Benin, in francophone West Africa, where I worked as the Pipeline and Reports Officer for the UN World Food Programme for one year, producing documents in French and English on a daily basis. I got the fellowship because of my dual language proficiency and was effective in my job in large part for this reason. My French language skills also enabled me to more fully immerse myself in what almost felt like a different world, because I could easily communicate with those around me. After Benin, I continued as a consultant for WFP, first in Côte d’Ivoire and then in Mauritania – both countries in which French is the most widely spoken Western language. I currently work as the Head of Information and Communications for the European Union in Côte d’Ivoire. My jobs have allowed me to meet and establish friendships with people from all over the world. These opportunities and the amazing experiences I have had during this period would not have been possible without the level of proficiency in French I acquired in college, to which my semester at CUPA greatly contributed. It has made me feel much more a part of our increasingly connected world and part of a vibrant international community!
Update: Congratulations to Katherine has been accepted into the MBA/MA Lauder Program at Wharton!