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Alex Smith

Corvallis, Oregon
French and International & Area Studies
Study Abroad:
Clermont-Ferrand, France
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In 10 words or less, why should a student want to be involved in this department?
It will broaden your horizons in so many ways.

What initially drew you to this department?  What keeps you coming back?
I took French in high school and thought taking it in college would be a great way to get a deeper understanding of another culture. I was also lucky enough to have met some of the professors and talk to a few French students when I visited campus, and it’s those same passionate professors and stimulating discussions that keeps me coming back.

What’s your biggest piece of advice to first years and sophomores in this department?
Go abroad!

How does your department connect to your other interests and activities?
I can always easily connect my French classes to things I have learned or am thinking about in any other classes. There are more obvious connections such as to culture and history, but then there are less direct but just as prevalent connections to what I may be learning in an economics, psychology, or law class – or even in my on-campus job.

What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned at K?
To go for it – K provides its students with amazing opportunities and really tries to give the support to succeed in those opportunities, so take advantage of it!

What has been your favorite class at K?  Why?
My favorite class so far at K has probably been a French class on African Literature. The readings and discussions were very stimulating, and I was always making meaningful connections with my class on Cold War and Africa and my Development and Economics class.

What is your SIP?
French perceptions around North African immigration into France

What are your career aspirations/next steps after K?
I am still molding those aspirations, but as for now I would love to go back to France to teach before graduate school.

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