Danielle Preston

I decided to be a French Major because I felt an intuitional draw to it. I had not taken any French language courses previously because the schools I grew up in did not offer it as a foreign language. It was discouraging at first. I got some C's and was surrounded by students who had studied French for many years but I stuck to it and graduated with a French degree, proving everyone wrong who said I couldn't study French if I had never studied it before (now does that make sense to you? haha). I'm basically trying to get the point across that I followed a gut feeling to study French and just went with it and because I followed my heart, everything worked out in unbelievably beautiful ways. My favorite thing about UCD was the wide selection of courses I was able to take. As a French major I had to fill up my course requirements with 'random' classes, ranging from the tree class where we rode bikes around the whole city and learned about trees, to French cinema, to an entomology/art course where I got to make art about insects. As a language major I was able to do these things, I know from fellow friends in other majors that required more units specific to their major did not have as much time as I did to take other courses that were maybe considered random but were extremely interesting and fun. My other favorite thing about UCD was the Cooperative housing, the Domes. Changed my life in beautiful ways. Would recommend visiting for a potluck any weekday at 7pm.

After graduating I applied to TAPIF, a program to teach English in France. I was accepted and was assigned to be an English teaching assistant in a primary school near Lyon in a little village where I lived with a host family. INCREDIBLE experience, absolutely recommend it to all students in the French department. I met the most amazing, inspiring people while there this year and I have grown tremendously mentally and spiritually because of living in France for the year. I fell in love with Lyon and decided I had to stay for another year (maybe more). I applied to several schools, different jobs and also to TAPIF for round 2. I needed a plan A, B, and C, whatever it took to get a visa to stay there for another year. I ended up getting into a school AND into TAPIF, so that is taken care of! I also met a French boy whom I fell in love with, and I'll be living in the RADDEST place in Lyon with my French artist friend. WOW, so thank you French department at UCD for teaching me French and all the beauty it has to offer.