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- A View of Limoges, France
Adrienne Bartlett (B.A. in French & English, 2011) is working as an English language assistant through the TAPIF program in France. Adrienne works in collaboration with French school teachers in a small town elementary school, just on the outskirts of the capital city of Limoges. She works with about 16 different classes, ranging from CP (5-6 year olds) to CE2 (10-11 year olds); her lessons include introducing new and fun vocabulary (colors, animals, numbers, shapes, classroom objects, school subjects, holidays, etc.), reading stories, playing language games, singing songs, relating cultural anecdotes and explaining aspects of American culture.What does Adrienne think about working and living in France?
“It has been such an incredible, indescribable experience. I have learned so much about myself and matured as an individual. I have a diverse group of friends – friends from France, Romania, Peru, New Zealand, England, Ireland, Spain, and Belgium.
Perhaps the coolest thing about this work experience is that I feel as if Limoges is a little bit my own now, just like Louisville, KY or Georgetown, KY feels a little bit like my own. I feel as if Limoges is a little bit mine. It will always, ALWAYS be with me, a piece of it, wherever I go in the world, because I have invested so much of my heart into it in 8 quick months. I like to think that a piece of me will always be here as well. ”
While working in Limoges, Adrienne still found the time to visit other French regions and European countries (Spain, Ireland) and applied to various graduate programs in England. She has been accepted at the University of Edinburgh to start a M.A in French Translation in the 2012-2013 academic year.
Kyle Johnson (B.A. in Spanish, 2011) visited Cuba this year and reflected on this experience. ” What really struck me about Cuba was the people [...] as they were such good people. They were all what we would call poor in a material sense. None of the Cubans I met wore really nice clothes or had expensive home furnishings. No one had a nice new stove or a new computer. My dad said that from what he had read that the rations that Cubans receive through the government can last about half the month and then Cubans buy food at full price which is very expensive for them. This makes it hard to afford much else but the basics. But while Cuba was certainly poor, the people themselves were all very well spoken and kind and well educated. Our interpreter who came with us taught school and in addition to English and Spanish spoke Russian. I talked to her about some the literature we read in class like Isabel Allende and Julio Cortazar, and she told me about how much she loved Hemingway and Pushkin and Dostoevsky. [...] I hope that Cuba can lift the oppressive state controlled media and allow people to use the Internet and connect with the outside world. I hope that our embargo will end and allow more foreign capital to makes its way to Cuba. I hope that foreign investment can help fix Cuba’s crumbling infrastructure and provide its good people with a chance to be a part of the rest of the world. I hope it does. I hope we and Cuba find a way to improve our relationship. [...] Basically I hope that the good people of Cuba who have lived under a repressive regime can emerge and improve their wonderful country without loosing their unique identity and beautiful culture.” To find more about Kyle’s journey, you may read his complete journal.