Born in Leesburg, Virginia and raised in Columbus, Ohio, Sarah Carr (pictured below at the Sorbonne in Paris) considers the Midwest home. Sarah graduated in May 2019 with a major in French and Spanish. Her passion for languages instilled an intense desire in her to study abroad—first in Madrid, Spain in the spring of 2017 and then in Paris, France in the fall of 2018. Her two experiences abroad differed greatly, but she was impressed by how much national identity influenced personal identity, especially in France. This insight made her reflect on what it means to be an American and how her own nationality influences her identity.
Speaking about her interest in languages, Sarah said, “Language is such a critical tool for cross-cultural communication, and once my Spanish speaking friends helped teach me that, I decided to also study French in order to delve deeper into one of my other passions, art (particularly cinema). French culture is rich and vast, and since French is spoken throughout the globe, I now have a key to open doors outside of France.”
"Some of my favorite classes at Baylor were French Cinema with Dr Bratu and History of Paris with Dr Uber, because the material we covered was incredibly relevant to my semester in Paris. These classes enriched my appreciation for the city and the cinematic heritage there."
Upon graduation, Sarah will return to Columbus until October. She will leave for France again to become an assistant teacher of English at a school in Orléans through T.A.P.I.F., the Teaching Assistant Program sponsored by the French government. Her long-time goal is to teach French and Spanish in an immersion school or a university. She thus hopes to help shape the next generation into becoming passionate and bilingual global citizens.
Looking back on her time at Baylor, Sarah realizes the tremendous importance of community. She sees the French faculty as being truly instrumental in expanding her horizons and motivating her to grow. She believes that she would not be where she is today if it were not for them.
Ashley Dyer (pictured on the left in Elsenheim, France) was born in Chicago and grew up in Colorado. She graduated in May 2019 with a 4.0 grade point average, a double major in French and Political Science, and a minor in Anthropology. Her interest in French began at a young age. She explains, “I appreciated the beauty of the French language and longed to learn more about it. After taking French classes in high school, I discovered a passion for the language and the culture and decided to pursue this interest further.”
Looking back on her four years, Ashley says “Studying French at Baylor has allowed me to broaden my mind and develop a more nuanced cultural understanding of France and the French language. Language is powerful; it influences how we think and through which perspective we view the world. My French studies at Baylor have prepared me to identify and fully appreciate this perspective in a way that deeply enriched my time spent in France.”
Annalise Franchina (pictured at the Musée Pompidou in Paris) is from Charlotte, North Carolina and has also lived in New York City. She graduated in May 2019 with a double major in French and Mechanical Engineering. She began studying French when she was 10 years old. “The more I studied it, the more I loved it,” she said. “I couldn’t give it up when I started college!” In her opinion, “Having competency in a second language is an invaluable skill.” During the fall semester of her junior year, she studied in Paris with Baylor’s CUPA (Center for University Programs Abroad) exchange program and lived with a Parisian host family while there. Speaking of her experience, she says, “I loved my host family and all the people I got to meet! Living in Paris for such an extended period of time showed me what European life was really like. I was able to enjoy it from the vantage point of someone who is not just a tourist, and I now know Paris like the back of my hand!” One of her favorite courses at Baylor was the course on Paris, because she saw it all come to life when she lived and studied there.
Annalise will now be working in Dallas as an analyst at Goldman Sachs. “I’ve loved my time studying engineering, but I’m ready to apply those skills in a different way at a financial tech firm.” Later on, she would like to go to graduate school for biomedical engineering in order to work in the creation of medical devices. In any case, she will always take the opportunity to visit France whenever she can. To maintain her French, she will join the Alliance Française in Dallas, and she continues to use the RFI app to listen to French radio. Her dream would be to work for a French company someday. Looking back on her years at Baylor, Annalise believes, “studying French has provided a balance in my studies with Engineering. It has been an incredibly valuable experience and has given me the skill of translation which I have appreciated greatly when speaking technically with non-engineers.”