Frias, Natalia




Name: Natalia Frias


Language: French

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

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A brief personal bio:

I am a Political Science and French supplementary major at the University of Notre Dame. I have a passion for advocacy in human rights and how that looks differently across the globe. I have been involved in Human Rights-ND as President, Notre Dame Senate, Policy Advising Team, Writing Center tutor, and research assistant to Economics Professor Kirk Doran and to History Professor Jaime Pensado.

Why this summer language abroad opportunity is important to me:

This SLA Grant is important to me because it is the next step in my French language acquisition. I ultimately want to be able to work internationally and French is not only an official language for the United Nations, but also opens up a world stretching from Europe to Northern Africa. Immediately following college I hope to possibly spend a year teaching English in a French speaking country. In terms of career focus I will be an international human rights lawyer and my french will increase the accessibility with which I am able to communicate with people in the professional realm. While the SLA will offer me many concrete advantages I am also eager to perfect my French so that I can better understand a people, which is why I even want to be a human rights lawyer in the first place – for the betterment of people’s lives.

What I hope to achieve as a result of this summer study abroad experience:

The immediate hope from my SLA Grant is that my proficiency in the French language improves. However, this is for the longer termed goal of succeeding in the Fall when I attend Sciences-Po for study abroad in Paris, France. I ultimately aim to be fluent in French and through formal education I will reach a level that will allow me to conduct a career in French. The program I have selected for my SLA is language focused in a classroom environment where I will be learning with peers at a similar pace and starting point. I hope to develop my writing and reading as well as my speaking skills while abroad. Furthermore, I intend to grow familiar with French culture and how to navigate a subway. Without the pressure of grades I can focus on learning French and adapting to the lifestyle change in time for the coming semester abroad.

My specific learning goals for language and intercultural learning this summer:

By the end of the summer, I will be able to produce a coherent and academic piece of written work in French and feel prepared for my semester at Sciences-Po.

By the end of the summer, I will be able to confidently approach a native French speaker for conversation in French.

By the end of summer, I will be able to articulate and appreciate the specific differences between my background and that of France.

By the end of summer, I will be able to independently navigate my way through a subway or an unfamiliar place – whether relying on a map or on locals.

My plan for maximizing my international language learning experience: