Name: Thomas Mologne
Location of Study: Tours, France
Program of Study: L’Institut de Touraine
Sponsors: Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures and Nanovic Institute for European Studies
A brief personal bio:
I am originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and am currently a first-year student at Notre Dame. I have taken French classes since middle school and plan on pursuing the supplementary major in conjunction with the Program of Liberal Studies. Outside of school, I enjoying playing soccer and cooking. In terms of extracurricular activities, I am involved with the Logan Center in South Bend, the Student International Business Council, and Pakta Consulting.
Why this summer language abroad opportunity is important to me:
At the most basic level, my SLA grant is important to me because it is a culmination of my long time passion for French. Considering that I have never travelled to France, I am ever grateful for this opportunity to pursue the French language in such a powerful environment. In terms of my intellectual pursuits, the French language has historically been one of the most influential in terms of the arts. Therefore, by pursuing fluency, I will be able to engage such works to the highest degree. My French course this semester, The Art of Interpretation, has made this point by exposing me to poetry which has amazed me in ways some poems written in English may never be able to. As I mentioned in the prior section, I plan on completing the supplementary major in French and Francophone studies as a way to formally solidly my interest in French. Upon graduation, I hope to work abroad for either the U.S. Government or a consulting organization in the private sector. In either case, I fully intend to follow paths which would allow me to use my French. I am interested in African politics, so I also may end up pursuing either a related academic or career endeavor.
What I hope to achieve as a result of this summer study abroad experience:
As I talked about in my grant proposal, I hope to improve my accent and increase my capacity to speak French in fast-paced scenarios. The classes at the Institute de Touraine, the experience of living with a host family, and my travel around France will enable me to succeed in reaching my goals. Beyond these goals, however, I look forward to meeting other students from Notre Dame, other academic institutions in the United States, and students from other countries who all share the same passion for the beautiful language which is French. Moreover, I hope to make lifelong friends with other students whom I would not have met were it not for the generosity of the CSLC and Nanovic Institute. Basically, I hope to use my SLA grant to its fullest capacity by expediting the process of language acquisition and experiencing a priceless cultural immersion.
My specific learning goals for language and intercultural learning this summer:
At the end of the summer, I will have lost inhibitions relating to initiating conversations in French with native speakers.
At the end of the summer, I will have increased the accuracy of my pronunciation and grammar including concepts such as prepositions, articles, and verb tenses.
At the end of the summer, I will be able to engage in intellectual conversation relating to poetry and literature. I expect to be able to contextualize pieces with contemporary authors and poets and more easily recognize allusions. Moreover, I foresee that my capacity to analyze texts will greatly increase.
At the end of the summer, I will have a greater appreciation of French politics (especially considering that the French presidential election is occurring this summer). Included in this goal is an understanding of the diversity of France’s regions and their unique languages. Further, I expect to gain a greater understanding of how each region interacts with the national government.
My plan for maximizing my international language learning experience: