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Study Abroad Blog

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Being a Linguistics Major in France

Being a Linguistics and French double major in Grenoble, France is incredible. Of course, the French major is easy to explain. I am living in France after all, so nearly all daily interactions proceed en français. While improving my French skill was the reason I came to France, I have found that this trip has been fantastic from a Linguistic standpoint as well. To hear the Grenoblois speak their native tongue is fascinating both from a learning and observing perspective. I have seen, on numerous occasions, students my age code switch from a casual, familiar speech to a much more formal, academic style in seconds. It is very interesting to be exposed to this kind of linguistic behavior, particularly in a language that is not my mother tongue.
 Breakfast and a lesson
 Journal in French and in English!

As a student of language, studying in a country whose primary language is not your own is an incredibly rewarding, albeit challenging, experience. I often push myself into conversation with baristas or servers just to get a bit more practice. I also enjoy making spontaneous conversation with my host family regardless of topic. It is a linguistic adventure every time I open my mouth. Will I make an error? That is almost a guarantee. However, these little mistakes are truly how one learns a language. There is no progress without struggle, and because of that, I am happy to make mistakes.
 It doesn't hurt do study with a view

Coming to France has really opened my eyes to the incredible power of language not just as a means of communication, but also as a way to express one’s culture and life experience. My passion for language has only grown stronger since I began my time in France, and although my French skill is progressing rather slowly, I am very happy with my decision to study abroad.

Aron F. is the Fall 2017 MOJO in Grenoble, France. He is currently a Sophomore studying Linguistics & French at Western Washington University.

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