Institute for Field Education

Student Profiles

Watch a short video of students in the program.

What former Gateway students have to say about their semester

- "I feel I gained a much stronger sense of feminism in France, the right versus left (political) and French perspective on certain worldly events [...] I finally felt as if I worked at a job that really had an impact on a number of "lives"
Erin enrolled as a Spring semester sophomore, and her Gateway semester left her determined to come back as a junior for a more advanced program, in the goal of doing graduate work in France.

- "I Believe that my vocabulary in French has broaden a lot more than I expected or could imagine. Because of my different activities, I was able to learn about the French society through a number of different angles. I feel like I am finally qualified to comment on this society. [...] I was able to leave my exclusive world and enter into another completely different, and I don’t usually take changes very well. I have actually submerged myself into the culture".
Sophia had only one semester to spend abroad, and she chose Paris Gateway as the best way to perfect her French and get "inside" France.

- "One of the things that I observed is how polite French people are. When you pour yourself water, you pour everyone water. You say bonjour to everyone in the foyer... Little things like that."
Eliza gained the confidence and skills in the Fall semester with the Paris Gateway program to enroll in the Spring semester Paris Field Study and Internship program, where she put her background in photography to work as a staff photographer with the communications services of the Ministry of the Interior.

-  "I learned a lot about non-profits and healthcare in France. The staff of my organization are amazing and they made me a part of their family."
Maegan used the Paris Gateway program to get her French where she wanted it and, as a Business/Economics major, to get to know how both health care and not-for-profits are organized in another culture.

More comments (culled from anonymous student evaluations)

- French courses at the Sorbonne

  • "The best grammar course I have taken."
  • "It was great that I was able to implement the things I learned in class in everyday conversation."
  • I really enjoyed the phonetics and I think it really helped my accent."
  • I really liked my teacher, and I could feel her enthusiasm whenever she walked into class."
  • In the grammar class I was able to learn new things while practicing old stuff."

- The IFE Paris-France-Paris course

  • "I loved this class! Very interesting and pertinent."
  • "The professor is an excellent teacher, who seems to know everything!"
  • "The professor is the most knowledgeable man I have ever met."
  • "It played a big part in my discovering France and specifically Paris."

- IFE staff

  • "The IFE team was fantastic. Very supportive and welcoming!"
  • "They’re great!"
  • "The IFE staff was fabulous and extremely helpful!"
  • "IFE was great! Especially when I was sick and in the hospital, I was so happy to have them around."

- Housing

  • "I could not have been happier with my foyer ! As a result of living there I made a great group of friends with whom I spoke French every day and improved exponentially."
  • "The housing was great and exactly what I wanted."
  • I loved living in the foyer....It’s easy to make friends."
  • The people at the foyer were great."
  • The foyer is extremely welcoming, with great facilities, events, and wonderful people. I will be extremely sad the day I have to leave such an amazing community."

- Language-learning internship

  • "Thanks to my internship, my French improved alot on both written and oral skills. We experienced a presidential election so I learned alot discussing with my colleagues."
  • "I was able to raise my level of comfort with speaking in French and I learned new vocabulary."
  • "I became a lot more confident in my French."
  • "My French improved radically during my internship! My comfort with the language, my comprehension and my fluidity all were boosted through my work."
  • "My French improved the more I spoke with my colleagues... I gained more confidence in my abiities. I was more comfortable talking to others and taking chances. I had to step out of my comfort zone, and in the end I was thankful for that challenge."
  • "At the beginning of my internship I was hesitant about trying to meet and converse with people at work, but finally I learned to be more direct with them... I went to some academic conferences which definitely improved my vocabulary."
  • "I have improved my spoken French and my vocabulary and I feel at ease speaking with others.... I learned about French society from working with others."

- Overall

  • "I like the fact that in the Gateway you are independent. I think this allowed us to really integrate rather than having our hands held."
  • "The general workload of this program was more than sufficient. I was constantly challenged and learning. So, although technically I did not have tons of homework, I learned even more in the Gateway than I would have during the same amount of time back at my school."
  • By living in foyers and having an internship I think we were much more integrated than the average study abroad student."
  • I feel I have met many French people and learned about French culture."
  • "The program places us directly "into" the society. I could clearly see the stereotypes that were more or less true, and the ones that were completely false."
  • I’ve learned so much about French, France, and life."
  • This experience is a necessity for anyone studying French because it really opens our eyes to different ways of seeing things. It even made me question my values. I am truly greatful for having had this experience.Thank you!
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