INTS Former Student Abroad in France with TAPIF
The Department of International Studies would like to highlight former student Lily Jameson who is making use of her dual major degree in International Studies and French. Lily is currently an English Language Assistant with the Teaching Assistant Program in France (TAPIF). She is assigned to Sarrebourg, France, a small town roughly an hour […]
The Department of International Studies would like to highlight former student Lily Jameson who is making use of her dual major degree in International Studies and French. Lily is currently an English Language Assistant with the Teaching Assistant Program in France (TAPIF). She is assigned to Sarrebourg, France, a small town roughly an hour from Strasbourg. Having studied abroad in the course of completing her degree, Lily was eager to return to France and applied to TAPIF during her last semester of college. As a language assistant she provides middle school and high school students the opportunity to become more comfortable speaking English by practicing with a native speaker. Lily said she is absolutely loving her experience so far. In addition to helping students hone their English skills, she is sharing her native Texas culture and all things Texas, such as Buc-ee’s and the traditions of Texas A&M University. A unique feature of Lily’s education at Texas A&M students find exciting is that most of her classes were held in the Academic Building which Monster’s University was based on.
As a child, Lily saw a picture of the Eiffel Tower lit up at night, and thought is was the most beautiful sight she had ever seen. As she grew older, the sound and beauty of the French language fascinated her. When applying to Texas A&M, she knew studying abroad in France somehow was her goal. On discovering the interdisciplinary degree in International Studies, she realized pursing the Policy and Diplomacy track would offer the option to study a range of subjects, such as history, politics, culture, and language. All subjects she was passionate about studying. Moreover, the degree plan includes a mandatory requirement to study abroad in a region speaking the language of the student’s area of specialization, achieving her goal. Lily found a perfect fit, and ultimately decided to add a French as a second major to pursue her goal of speaking fluent French one day.
As an International Studies student, Lily had three favorite classes. Her first is INTS409, War and Memory with Dr. Richard Golsan. The class analyzed various films depicting different representations of the first and second World Wars, crimes against humanity, the Nuremberg Trails, and the Vietnam War. This facilitated deep discussions on topics such as the nature of morality and evil, the reality and remembrance of war, and humanity’s capacity for evil and of forgiveness. Lily said this course caused her to reflect on and evaluate further her own beliefs and views on humanity. Closely related was another course Dr. Golsan taught analyzing World War I and II from the French perspective, and delving into topics concerning the occupation of France during World War II and Maréchal Pétain’s collaborationist government. These were new and exciting areas Lily had not encountered during her studies, to that point. Another of Lily’s favorite classes was The Francophone World taught by Dr. Christopher Bonner. This class examined French colonization of Africa and literature by African-French political figures and authors that included Édouard Glissant, Aimé Césaire, Frantz Fanon, and André Breton. This class introduced Lily new perspectives and aspects of French history, culture, and literature.
Lily credits these three classes with preparing her for her current professional pursuits by broadening her view and enriching her perception of French culture and history. Additionally, Lily believes the best preparation she had for living and working in France now was fulfilling the international experience degree requirement by studying abroad in Grenoble, France. During that time, she stayed with a wonderful host family, made amazing friends she is still in contact with, traveled around Europe and to Morocco, and was immersed in French language and culture. It was an experience she wouldn’t trade for anything. Most importantly, she feels the study abroad component of the International Studies major reinforces the aims of the degree, namely seeing our world from a perspective different from our own in order to challenge our own ideas and beliefs so that we may be tolerant, informed, and passionate individuals with a more multidimensional perspective.
When Lily first applied to the TAPIF program, she was not expecting to return during a global pandemic. Nonetheless, she is excited to be back in France. Even under these current conditions, she is open to exploring new opportunities and would like travel as much as conditions allow. Her ultimate goal, though, is to continue cultivating and refining her language skills to truly become bilingual. In her wildest dreams before applying to Texas A&M, Lily never imagined she would live in France. She is grateful for the professors, the classes, the friends, and the experiences during her undergraduate studies that paved this path. Although unsure of what adventures will unfold in France, Lily is eager to find out!