Living like a local in France

UON Global recently had a chat with Teaching Student Leanne McCarthy about her semester exchange at University De La Rochelle in France. Leanne describes her experience as invaluable to her future career as a French language teacher and found her international experience was deeply enriching to both her personal and professional development.

Why did you choose to study a Diploma of Languages?

I thought it was an interesting and more intensive way to develop my competencies of the French language. All aspects of the language: speaking, listening, reading and writing are equally practiced, while learning about the culture and everything French.

Why did you choose to study in France?

Learning a language is best done when you are immersed in the language and culture. Studying at the university of La Rochelle was a dream for me – I was able to use the language everyday for four months, making friends, living like a local, shopping at the market, learning about the history and culture first-hand. I was lucky enough to win a Kelver-Hartley Scholarship and was very grateful for the opportunity.

How do you think studying a language/overseas has helped your professional development?

Certainly my language skills have improved enormously and rapidly which is vital for my future role as a French teacher.  Moreover, the understanding of French society, politics, cuisine, sport, history, geography and even their transport systems is valuable knowledge that I will one day share with my students.

What advice would you give to students thinking about studying overseas?

That’s simple.  Just do it!   Life doesn’t always offer you such wonderful opportunities such as studying overseas and you have to grab these chances with both hands. Trust me- it’s like an escape to a foreign adventure but when you come home your degree (or diploma) is still on track!

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