"If you want to learn French, and learn it well, you'll be able to do it with the French department at Bryn Mawr. I came to Bryn Mawr with no French experience and started in the intensive elementary sequence for the language requirement in my first year. A year later, I ended up declaring a major in French! What is also telling about the department's high teaching standard is that when I went to our Avignon program after my sophomore year and another study abroad program in the spring of my junior year, among students who have been studying the language for years, I was not even close to being the weakest student in the group language-wise.
After graduation, I moved to Vietnam, where I've been working in education and admissions consulting, as well as a freelance French to English translator. Part of what that includes is conducting test prep courses and tutoring sessions; my French experience has given me a certain understanding of how my native language works, not to mention the empathy and understanding of the struggles of learning a language as an adult. Also, the professors at Bryn Mawr have trained me to be very considerate and deliberate with word choice, and I apply this experience to the editing and translating aspect of what I do. In addition, I have found my experience through the department - both on campus and while studying abroad - to have significantly contributed to my cross-cultural competency and navigating various challenges that comes with living abroad on a long-term basis. Plus, I love surprising French expats I meet here in Vietnam when I switch conversations to their native language!" - Heidi Gray