An update from junior nursing major and French student Abby Mustread.

I am student worker for the International Office in the department of Managerial Development International (MDI). MDI is  program that brings in many participants from francophone countries all over the world. I daily get the opportunity to work in french and speak french with my coworkers and program participants.

Throughout high school, I studied Spanish and was pretty good at it, but my love for language was born in my time spent in Togo, West Africa, during the summer of 2014. At first I found French to be infuriating, but after about two weeks in Togo I was smitten. Since then I have been studying French and love it more everyday. 

My French classes at Illinois State University have been amazing. The environment of each class has been relaxed and conducive to fun learning. I love how my French classes have brought me in contact with so many students with a wide variety of majors. Most classes where this is the case, there is a lacking sense of community. With French, however, no matter how different we are there is an instant connection and sense of community. My professors have all been supportive and excited to lead us in the challenge that is language learning. 

I have never studied abroad, but I have spent a total of 5 months doing not-for-profit work in West Africa where I had the opportunity to participate in multiple water filter/grain and vaccination distributions. I have experienced the frustrations of language barriers, and also the joys of cross cultural friendships. 

Post graduation I plan to work for an nongovernmental organization (NGO) called Love Has Feet, where I will be developing a medical branch that will work to build and supply medical clinics in West Africa. I plan to use the skills I am learning in my French classes now to help serve the underserved of French West Africa for many years to come.