“More than a degree, I took away exquisite experiences from my exchange at the Université de Tours in France and travels through Europe; management, programming and life skills from donning with the Residence Life staff; a sharp, critical and analytical mind from class discussion and my time working as grading assistant to Professor and Dr. Nathalie Freidel; and a sense of ambition and self, inspired by the great professors and student leaders with whom I was fortunate enough to work. It is not rare to find oneself on a path far from the one we thought we’d lead and it was my new cultural experiences in France in 2012 that would lead me back to my original passion and gift visual art.
"Since then, I have been hungry for ways to combine my passions for art, culture and language, with a social cause to make a difference. At Laurier, we are encouraged to strive for academic excellence, but also to pair it with leadership, inclusivity and community involvement. While finishing my final year at Laurier, I joined the executive team for TEDxYouth@Waterloo (a division of TEDx Waterloo) to start making waves where they would impact the strongest with young students. We worked for several months to put on the production at the Chrysalids Theatre in Kitchener-Waterloo at which I graphically recorded and illustrated each speaker’s message live on stage, and was the final speaker of the night to touch on the theme of ‘Chasing Home.’ Taking on this project has led to my accepting the role of Set Designer for the upcoming ‘An Epic Event,’ a contest event for young high school leaders making social change in their community.
"I have also continually been taking art commissions for companies and charitable organizations and am now founding my own project. The Rainbow Nation Project is about diversity, inclusivity, and social justice and using art to inspire other students to make waves even bigger than the ones I am starting. I will use the project to build a positive culture and enable this community to help me form The Rainbow Nation Award to send high school student leaders to university. And so, with my graduation from the university environment comes not a door closing, but rather a whole world opening."
"The teachers are phenomenal and the small class sizes allowed me to get to know a lot of people in the program from various years, which improved the already amazing sense of community around campus. Classes were very engaging and I learned so much more about francophone culture, knowledge and language.
"I would not have my position I do today if I had not completed a BA in French. I am currently working at a bilingual campus where everyone who is employed must be bilingual. My written and oral French levels are significantly better than they were in high school and I am certain that I would not be employed if I did not participate in this program."
"Professors are extremely kind and easy to talk to. They actually care. They go above and beyond to make sure their students are excelling and take the extra time to help those who need it. Often people say that in university you are just a number. However, in this program, the professors know your first name and care about you. I enjoyed the small class sizes a welcoming environment of the entire Languages and Literatures department. Laurier and the Languages department are both absolutely incredible. In choosing Laurier and this program, I made the nest decisions that guaranteed me an incredible four years."
"I realized my love for French literature and Dr. Freidel was inspiring and engaging. I loved that I was able to take a variety of subjects (culture, literature, grammar, etc.) all in French. I also loved how I could take another major as well."
"I really enjoyed the variety of courses in this program. Dr. Freidel’s courses were all very interesting and her teaching style was engaging. She was very helpful and incredibly knowledgeable. This program prepares you with a sense of French culture and language – which will benefit me in years to come. It is very advantageous to have French on your resume!"
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