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University of San Diego

Paris, France

Fall 2019

Lauren Malestic, Alumni Ambassador

Alumni Ambassadors
1. What are your tips for learning the language? 

DIVE IN! Do not be afraid of making mistakes, that is how we all learn. You have to let go of fear, it is silly and holds you back from a whole new world of experience and growth. Do not be afraid to interact with people. You might put yourself out there and trying it in a new language may result in you having a discouraging experience. Do not dwell on it, move on and use the experience for when you try again. Challenge yourself daily, but also be kind to yourself. You are learning and growing, not even French people learned their own language in a day, it is tough! But that is what makes it worth it! Push yourself and use all aspects of that local culture as gateways to be able to learn more about the language and culture. It all connects, so start at a point A, and take a small step each day, you will be amazed by your growth at the end of it. Read every road sign, practice with people your age, people not your age, waiters and baristas, French native-speakers and people that had to learn it like you. But overall, let go of fear!

2. What was your favorite course while abroad? 

My favorite course abroad was French culture and civilization. This course was dedicated to all the elements of why I love French culture so much in the first place. The class allowed us to not only expand our knowledge on the French, who and what they are and stand for, but also our American culture and why we are so different. The class did not negatively separate us by our cultural differences, but instead taught us the different aspects of the two cultures, and celebrated the diversity between them and that for just a few months, we get to immerse ourselves in a new world of this, with an open mind and clean slate! I not only feel like I know so much more about the foundation of France and Paris and their culture and language, but the class also taught me so much about why I love the culture so much, and why it is so special. I learned so much about myself in this course, as everything from our blog posts, to our papers and presentations were opportunities to look inside ourselves and check in with our growth during our time abroad.

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