One of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had at Rice is learning a new language. I already speak English and Spanish, but I’ve wanted to learn French for a long time. My high school was pretty small, so the French classes filled up quickly and I was unable to take them. Fortunately, Rice has programs for a lot of different languages. I thought it would be interesting to take an introductory French course to see how it goes, and I was not expecting to like it as much as I did. I’m currently in my second semester learning the language, and I’ve already learned so much. In just a few months, I was able to learn enough to have significant conversations with other people. Apart from teaching vocabulary and grammar, my language professors also teach the culture surrounding the language. For example, I’ve learned the differences in how conversations flow in English versus in French. My language courses are my favorite classes at this school.
Rice also has a lot of great study abroad opportunities, and one of the programs, Rice in Country, is specifically for students new to the languages. It is a 6-week study abroad program in the summer where students go to a country in order to immerse themselves in the language and the culture. I applied and got accepted to the Rice in France program, where I will be travelling to the south of France, staying with a French-speaking host family, taking more French classes. I’m so excited to apply what I’ve learned in the classroom to the real world. I highly suggest taking advantage of the language learning opportunities that Rice provides!