French & Francophone Studies majors Bella Milliman ('24) and Maya Lewis ('24) have just returned from a semester-long internship and study abroad program in France. For anyone curious about the value of such an experience, here is what they have to say:
"Bonjour! My name is Bella Milliman, and I spent spring 2023 living in Strasbourg, taking part in IFE's study abroad and internship program. While there, I took classes in French on French history, society, and international politics, and I did an internship and wrote a research paper. My internship was at the linguistics laboratory at the University of Strasbourg (Unistra) where I transcribed French audios for two doctoral students' research, sat in on linguistics classes, and attended linguistics conferences. With the help of a Unistra professor, I then conducted a research project on the use of pauses and fillers in English-French bilingual speakers. My experience with IFE was amazing because it allowed me to combine my interest in linguistics with my love of French. Helping doctoral students gave me great insight into secondary education in France and the world of linguistics in French graduate schools. Working in transcription gave me lots of valuable skills for a possible future in translation or interpretation, while also strengthening my ear for French. Most importantly, IFE has given me a variety of contacts for my future, whether that be in France or still in the U.S. It was an experience that I will truly never forget."
"Hi! My name is Maya Lewis, and I was fortunate enough to have been an IFE scholar during my junior year. IFE is a full-immersion program that combines traditional classes with an internship. I was in their Paris program, and thoroughly enjoyed my experience. During the first month, I was able to explore the City of Light while learning about its history and culture in my classes. What I enjoyed the most, however, was my internship. I was lucky enough to be paired with a professor at SciencesPo, the leading French university in Political Science, and my job was to research the economic effects on Europe resulting from the UK’s Brexit. I would come to SciencesPo four times a week and do research alongside doctoral students. When I wasn’t researching, I was attending seminars or meeting with my advisor to come up with new ways to explore my topic of interest. I thoroughly enjoyed living the life of a professor and getting to incorporate my other major, Economics, in a Francophone context."