“Learning to adapt, and learning to interact with people from different backgrounds and cultures is just going to help me in any teaching that I do.”
Jon spent a semester living in Montpellier, France, and completing coursework for his French minor and history major. His experience helped him understand cultural differences and similarities that will travel with him into the future.
Jon has a major in history and journalism, with a minor in French. On the Montpellier program, Jon studied language, culture and history, completing the requirements for his minor. He thought the courses were less structured in France, and that the professors approached subjects from a different perspective. "My American history class was really interesting, and taught me a lot about the subjectivity of history. It’s taught so differently from different cultural perspectives."
In the future, Jon would like to pursue a career in teaching, perhaps at the college level. "I think that my study abroad experience will help me, because I’ve learned to interact with a different culture. France may not be that different, but it’s certainly different from American culture. Doing all the traveling that I did, learning to adapt, and learning to interact with people from different backgrounds and cultures is just going to help me in any teaching that I do. I think that’s a valuable skill to have."
Through coursework, program activities, life in a French apartment, and experiencing daily life in Montpellier, Jon gained important life skills like flexibility and independence. When he returned to the University, Jon continued to notice the effects of his experience on his perspectives. “Study abroad is not like a one time thing. It’s life changing. You study abroad and then you just want to go more places and learn more. For me, it reinforced a desire to continue studying and traveling, to see new places and continue learning about people. I think that study abroad just goes on and on and on. The experience, the things that you learn, and the ideas that it either awakens or reinforces in you, just continue throughout life.”
Check out the Learning Abroad Center's Study Abroad in Montpellier, France program.