by Kelly Johnson
The France Study Abroad Program happens only once every three years during the spring semester. It was Whitworth University’s first study abroad program.
Famous destinations on the trip include Paris, Toulouse, Normandy, Alsace, Mont Saint-Michel and the Riviera. Participants will have the opportunity to see many other natural and historical sites, as well.
The prerequisites are French 101 and Humanities 302, both of which will be offered fall 2012. Applications are due in the spring of 2012. The semester-long trip allows students to earn 16 credits, eight of which are French.
Historically, there have been three parts to the trip. The first was the homestay, where the participating students focused on honing their language skills and discovering the culture.
The second part of the trip centered around communication misunderstandings, including how to avoid them through better understanding of the culture, and how to deal with them when they do occur.
The third part of the trip concentrated on art. Including another professor on the study abroad trip, allows for a fourth portion of the trip, giving the students the opportunity for a second homestay.
The decision to include a fourth professor and a second French portion of the trip was based on feedback from past participants. Past participants and alumni said the home stay was the highlight of their trip and they wished they could have immersed themselves in the culture more.
Participants will also complete the general education requirements for modern languages, oral communication, fine arts and global perspectives.
The study aboard program happens only once every three years, so 2013 is the only chance current students will have to participate.
For the upcoming trip, the normal amount of professors who accompany the students on the trip, three, will be changed to four to allow for a second homestay. The change will allow students to spend a longer period of time in one region of France. The four professors for the upcoming 2013 trip will be Mike Ingram from communication studies, Gordon Wilson from art, Jennifer Brown from modern languages and Bendi Schrambach from modern languages.
Brown and Schrambach will teach French, while Ingram will teach the communications portion of the trip and Wilson will instruct the art part.
During homestays, participating students will live with a French host family. The homestays allow students to eat authentic French food, view the culture and country from a native’s perspective, develop relationships with their hosts, practice speaking French and learn about the culture in depth.
“Whether it is the France Study Program or another experience, I hope that all students will take the opportunity to study abroad. By doing so, they will learn about another culture, gain appreciation for their own culture, and – most importantly – better understand themselves,” Bendi Schrambach said.
Students interested in learning more about the upcoming 2013 France Study Aboard Program should contact Charles Tappa in the International Education Center.