Bonjour, France

Student gets into IU foreign country program


Skylar Greulich

Junior Marren Brown works on her French assignment on March 13. She wants to pursue the career of a linguist or a video game designer.

Junior Marren Brown remembers being in French class when her French teacher, Rosalind Jackson, passed out a paper with details about a trip to France. Brown saw this as an opportunity to practice and sharpen her learned French.

“I thought it’d be a good opportunity to go experience culture,” Brown said. “I’ve wanted to do foreign exchange for a long time, and it’s not exactly the same thing, but it’s similar. It’s a good opportunity to do that. 

The program consists of a summer spent in France from June 7 to July 16. Students participating in the program will not be allowed to speak English and will have to leave their phones back home. 

In place of smartphones, they will be given flip phones and computers to use and contact their parents, but they are only given a limited amount of time to talk. Cameras are allowed to be brought along for pictures. 

Jackson had been given the opportunity to be an foreign exchange student back when she was taking French in high school. She encourages her students to go out and experience a different culture if given the chance. Immersing oneself in culture and really getting to know it is one way she believes is good to learn about other traditions and the language itself.

“I was really excited,” Jackson said. “Marren is already very strong in French. I think just being able to go to the country and stay with the family and be immersed in the language, that’s just going to take her French to the next level.” 

Registration for the program ended in November, so Brown had to start off signing up through a long survey. Although Brown i

s set to go to France this June, she is still filling out surveys and will continue to do so until the end of May. 

Brown is taking French this year, but she does not limit her knowledge to just one language. She is currently also learning Spanish

, Latin, Polish and Norwegian. German is another she’s looking forward to learning as well.

With the many languages Brown aspires to know, she faced a bit of indecisiveness. She would like to study linguistics after high school, but being a video game designer sounds just as promising. 

Brown wants to work with ancient languages such as Ancient Greek and Old English since historical linguistics is something she’s fascinated in, and when it comes to video games, she likes the stories they tell. 

“I only really play narrative games, it’s like a movie except you’re immersed in it,” Brown said. “As far as linguistics go, I always thought languages were really cool,” 

Before this trip, Brown had never left the U.S before, and hopes to see more from the world from a different countries perspective.

“I hope to come back (as) a more cultured person,” Brown said.