I have always had admiration for the French language but, as an aspiring neurosurgeon, I hope to have a greater degree of fluency in languages outside of English, namely French, to establish a better line of communication between my patients and I. It is my goal to be a translator within the facility through which I'll be employed so that the patients who feel more comfortable speaking French will be able to better understand their condition(s) and/or procedure(s) they may need done, and why it is necessary. Communication is a very important part of the doctor/patient relationship and I want to help bridge the gap between French and English-speaking personnel.
Being able to study abroad in France through UT Martin not only enriched my education, but also allowed me to grow personally and re-affirm my career goals in international affairs. By interacting with people from another culture, I gained a greater appreciation of the world we live in. I loved trying new foods and improving my French speaking skills. After all, being able to speak different languages and enjoy trying new foods are both essential qualities if you want to be a diplomat. I am also very interested in medieval history and architecture, so it was very captivating to be able to see castles in France, explore the ancient catacombs underneath Paris, and learn about the history of Saint-Malo. My favorite experience was visiting Le Mont Saint-Michel, an island commune in Normandy. I felt like I was traveling back in time and experiencing a unique medieval city. The view from the top was also breathtaking. All in all, I truly believe that there is no other experience in undergrad that is as eye opening as traveling to another country. I will always be thankful to UT Martin and Dr. Lucia Florido for enabling me to have this adventure.
For me, traveling to France was all about embracing new experiences. Paris is the largest and most beautiful city I have ever been to. I was able to participate in the Parisian tradition of linking my lock to a bridge over the Seine, where so many different locks from all over the world were already attached. I tasted escargot and was surprised to find I liked it. I even let a Notre Dame pigeon eat seed from the palm my hand. The trip to France left me with so many memories that I will cherish forever. I only hope that I can go back one day, if only to eat more macaroons.