Alumni Spotlight: Erin Emington

Why did you decide to study abroad with AIFS at the University of Grenoble?

Erin: I decided to study abroad with AIFS at the University of Grenoble after a friend recommended the program & program site to me. I knew that there would be a lot of English-speakers in Paris, so I was really seeking somewhere "off the grid." That is exactly what I got with the program in Grenoble.

This winter Olympic-worthy town is authentic & its natives know little English, forcing you to put your French skills to use. One of the best part about this city is that you won't be snubbed for not having perfect French. Au contraire, the French in Grenoble will encourage you as you perfect your French. Little did I know before arriving, the town also has a rich culture & history of its own.

What made your study abroad experience unique and special?

Erin: One of the most unique aspects of this particular study abroad experience to me was getting to live in the Alps. Grenoble is situated in between mountains & the views are gorgeous. Taking the 'boules' up to the Bastille is priceless! You won't get this same experience in Paris. Oh, and Pain et cie. (a delicious bakery & coffee shop where Americans often gather) is a must.

En route to Genoble

How has this experience impacted your future?

Erin: I have found it particularly difficult to explain what studying abroad did for me as a person. I would say that one of the biggest "changes" that happened in me while studying abroad was just learning to go with the flow & not sweat the small stuff. You realize there is so much more to life than what you know before leaving on this trip. You learn common courtesies and how to be polite in any situation. Sitting down at a small table with your host family that first night for dinner is intimidating! The bundle of memories that you take with you, though, will make every moment worthwhile. These personal changes will automatically be reflected in both your professional & academic lives.