My service-learning placement was key to overcoming my fear of speaking French to native speakers. When you have to figure out how to explain the concept of subtraction to an 8 year-old, the French just starts coming out.
Central College Abroad provides students with a truly unique opportunity to begin their French immersion experience with a language orientation prior to the start of formal classes. This orientation module consists of a traditional program orientation accompanied by language courses tailored to all language levels. Service-learning placements with local non-profit organizations also begin during the language orientation.
Language orientation module
Students attend French grammar classes Monday through Friday at the École Étoile French language institute. Courses meet three hours a day for approximately two weeks in the fall and two hours a day for approximately four weeks in the spring. Students also participate in language workshops in the afternoons.
Language coursework taken during this portion of the program will be transcribed as a separate term, and the credits earned for this language orientation will not be counted in the credit hour limits for the semester. Coursework is taught in French and worth three credits.
Further cultural orientation is provided under the guidance of the Paris resident director, including informational meetings, comparative cultural discussions, excursions and onsite visits.
All students participate in service-learning placement two hours a day, Monday through Friday, during the orientation period. Placements are with local community-based organizations located in arrondissements around the city. This one-of-a-kind opportunity introduces students to the Paris beyond baguettes and berets. Students learn through interaction that France is a multifaceted country home to many cultural groups living together under one flag.
Upon completion of the orientation period, service-learning continues one day a week for the remainder of the semester and is a graded component of the Discovering Contemporary France class.