Why I chose French at school
I began learning French in my third year of high school. I thought learning a language would be an asset to have in terms of employment and it was also a chance to try something new. Little did I know it was going to play a huge role in my future.
Despite growing up in a small rural town in Southland, there has been no shortage of opportunities. I have been lucky enough to take two trips abroad with my French. In 2013, to Tahiti for 10 days as part of a trip organised through my high school. This definitely motivated me to take my French further. In 2014 I was selected to take part in the Shared Histories Programme and was given the opportunity to travel to France for two weeks as part of the Young Ambassadors Tour. We spent a lot of this time visiting World War One related monuments and attending commemorative events, which was a real eye opening experience.
For the past four years, I have also been exchanging emails with my pen pal Salomé who lives in Marseille. This has been an awesome way for both of us to improve our language skills, as we both communicate using a mixture of French and English.
I’m currently doing a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Otago, majoring in French and Economics. This August I am heading abroad to study at Université Jean Moulin III in Lyon as part of Otago’s Global Student Exchange Programme. Although I will be studying out of New Zealand, this will credit back to my Otago degree, with the additional bonus of being able to spend a year submersed in the French culture and language.
I’m unsure what the future holds career-wise. I’d love to work for the French/New Zealand Embassy or something similar, but at this stage I’m just going to follow the path I’m on and see where the future takes me.