Introduction by Anna Cogbill

My name is Anna Belle Cogbill, and I am going to France! Specifically, I’m going to be studying abroad with the College of Charleston’s La Rochelle program. It’s a terrific way to spend the first half of my junior year, and I’m certain it will be infinitely beneficial in both of my majors, French & Francophone Studies and Communications. It’s the perfect scenario for growth in my fields of study; this semester abroad in La Rochelle provides me both the opportunity to immerse myself in French language and culture, and to communicate and empathize with an entirely new world than the one I’ve grown up in.  

   In my semester abroad, my goal is to experience as much as I can so as to grow as much as I can. I plan to achieve this by excelling in three settings: my academics, my host culture, and my exploration of France. I will be working hard at my coursework, and working to become a better, more well-rounded French speaker. I’ve always enjoyed my French classes, ever since my very first one in my freshman year of high school, and now I get a whole semester dedicated to them! These academic efforts will be supported by the work I do with my host family, building a strong and healthy relationship as well as practicing my speaking skills, and gaining a better understanding of French domestic life. (Don’t tell, but I’ve already managed to find some unique and interesting Charleston souvenirs to bring them!) Finally, in the time I have that is not dedicated to those two pursuits, I aim to explore as much of France as possible. I have always loved French art and history, and I cannot wait to explore museums, churches, historic houses and sites, and as many cities as a train or bus can take me to.

I am so fortunate to be supported in so many ways, not the least of which being by my incredible French professors. I’d like to specifically mention Dr. Shawn Morrison, who provided a list of things to see while abroad based on my interests! Professors like her have a lasting impact; I’ve been provided a solid base of knowledge by my previous teachers which is supplemented by the research I’ve been doing on my own. This research includes not only French culture and customs, but also the city of La Rochelle. I’m particularly looking forward to visiting the old port – “Vieux Port” – as it’s praised as one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city. Living in Charleston has provided me with a unique outlook on tourism, in that while the things most heavily advertised are certainly worth seeing, there is often more to see if you take the time to really look. I can’t wait to make the most of these next few months!

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