“Dear Future Teaching Assistant,
Congratulations! We are very pleased to inform you of your acceptance to the Teaching Assistant Program in France for the 2013-2014 academic year, sponsored by the French Ministry of Education.”
For over a year, I waited to hear those sweet words. My journey began in the summer of 2009. I took the opportunity to study abroad in the South of France for a month (thinking that would be my only study abroad opportunity). I completely fell in love with Nice, France. After coming back to the States, I had to find a way to get back there. During the fall quarter of my junior year in undergrad, I made the decision to embark on a new journey. In spring semester of 2010, I returned back to Nice for a full study abroad experience. There my love for France grew immensely.
Prior to graduating in 2012, I applied for the TAPIF and unfortunately I was not accepted into program. At the time, I was quite devastated by this news. Nevertheless, I inquired about how to better improve my application for the future. The short and long of it was that I needed to improve in my written and oral compression of French, and gain teaching/classroom experience.
Coincidently, another opportunity surfaced and I was able to serve my community while giving back to an organization that contributed immensely to my educational pursuits. While serving a year as an AmeriCorps, my passion for teaching grew and the TAPIF program still lingered in my mind. Participating in my AmeriCorps program gave me the classroom management and teaching experience necessary to work with students. While participating in French conversation groups (through Meetup Seattle) and French learning programs, improved my oral and written comprehension.
With my newly acquired and improved skills, I was ready to apply for the TAPIF program again. Thanks to the support and assistance of some wonderful individuals and mentors, I sent of my application in on January of 2013. During the waiting period that seemed to transcend lifetimes, I was constantly doubting if I would actually be accepted into the program.
But lo and behold, in April of 2013, I received those very sweet words of congratulations!!! My happiness was beyond words!!! As I read that email, I was overwhelmed with nervousness, first and foremost, and then pure joy and excitement.
Resiliency is the key!!!
Thanks to this new opportunity, my aspiration to become fluent in French will soon become a reality. I hope you will join me in this journey as I navigate France, grow, learn, and continue to foster mentorship relationships with students.