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France — Fall 16

Morgan Chadderton
Modern Languages, Linguistics, and Intercultural Communication major

 

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As a French major, I wanted to study abroad in a francophone country. I searched around and eventually decided to study in Lyon, France, mainly because of the program that I found. It was relatively inexpensive, offered excursions, and seemed like the best fit for me.

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I am in a program for foreign exchange students taught at a French university. I am taking eleven different classes technically, although they will transfer back as five courses. Each class is once a week for 2 hours each and covers a wide variety of topics, such as phonetics, essay writing, literature, history, oral comprehension, etc. The program created this schedule for me, based on language proficiency levels. I am in classes with people from all over the world. My school days are rather long compared to American universities. The class load resembles high school, where the classes are back to back with minimal breaks. With that said, the work required from each class is a lot less than what I experienced at UMBC. The only grades in most of my classes are a midterm and a final, in some classes it is only a final. This can be a bit stressful as there are no participation, quiz, or homework grades. However, there is less homework and less at home assignments.

Lyon France

Overall, I am really enjoying my time in France. I am learning a lot about the culture, experiencing great food, and definitely seeing progress in my language abilities. If I could suggest one thing to those studying abroad soon, I would say be flexible. The fast-paced, busy lifestyle that we experience in America isn’t exactly the same everywhere else. It is good to be open to new things, to changes in schedule, etc. Take some time to experience where you are visiting and make it your home, rather than just a destination.