Horak, Victoria Jane

E-mail: vhorak@nd.edu

Language: French

Location of Study: Tours, France

Program of Study: Institut de Touraine

Sponsors: Nanovic Institute for European Studies, the College of Arts and Letters, and the Center for the Studies of Languages and Cultures

Blog URL: http://sites.nd.edu/sla2018/author/vhorak/


A brief personal bio:

I am a French major and Pre-Health supplementary major from the southwest suburbs of Chicago. I have been studying French in an academic setting for the last 7 years, but my passion for the French language was ignited by my first ballet class when I was 9. Now, thanks to the SLA grant, I will be able to pursue the development of my French in an intensive setting that will allow me to one day apply it in a professional medical setting.

Why this summer language abroad opportunity is important to me:

The grant is allowing me to develop my French communication skills in the most immersive way possible: in France with a host family. This personal level of interaction in a host family will allow for the greatest improvements in my French speaking ability. Additionally, the program I am able to attend thanks to the SLA grant offers specialized instruction focusing on medical French. This is vital in my pursuit of gaining an advanced level of language proficiency that will one day allow me to work in francophone countries with the vocabulary necessary for interacting with patients and other medical professionals.

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

I hope to gain greater competence in both the linguistic aspects of the French language as well as the understanding of a culture different from my own. I believe that the ability to appreciate and respect the individual practices of other individuals is especially important as a doctor, especially when I have patients with different personal experiences and histories from my own. Improvements in my speaking, listening and writing in the French language will also be critical as I finish the French major and beyond. Having the particular vocabulary necessary in a medical setting as well as the capacity to speak with patients and other individuals without the use of a translator will allow for a greater degree of care and comprehension of the situations I will be confronted with if I am to practice medicine in Francophone communities at any point.

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

By the end of the summer, I will have a more complete French medical vocabulary and understanding of the French healthcare system, a greater degree of proficiency in speaking, writing, and listening, and a significant improvement in my ability to engage in cultural interactions that I previously misunderstood or was intimidated by. This can all be applied to my completion of the French major with a more in-depth understanding of the language and my future medical interactions within the US as well as internationally.