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Kuykendall makes French connection in Québec

Senior Lauren Kuykendall is translating her Lyon experiences to her studies in Québec this summer.

Kuykendall is studying the French language at Université Laval in Québec City. To take full advantage of the opportunity, she is participating in workshops and group outings to experience Québec firsthand while strengthening her language skills.

“There’s never a dull moment since most of my time is spent going to class, studying, exploring the city, and getting to know the locals,” Kuykendall said.

Lyon’s French courses aided her in adapting to life in Québec. She knew what linguistic and cultural differences to expect thanks to Assistant Professor of Romance Languages Dr. James Martell and former Assistant Professor of French Dr. Brian Hunt.

“I owe my competence of the French language to them as well as my French-speaking friends on campus,” Kuykendall said. 

She said it took some time to get used to the local accent.

“If you were to compare French in France to French in Québec, you’d notice a difference right away,” she said. “I believe it’s important to introduce yourself to new dialects and accents in order to broaden your knowledge of the language you study.”

Kuykendall has also enjoyed interacting with locals in Québec.

“Everyone is so welcoming and easy to get along with,” she said. “The culture is not too different from our own, but there are some subtle differences.”

“One instance of culture shock was when I discovered that people like to eat meat with maple syrup. It goes on anything here. Their love for it knows no limits!”

When Kuykendall returns to Lyon this fall, she plans to share her experiences with fellow classmates.

“I’m hoping that they, too, will pursue the opportunity to study abroad.”

Her goal is to become a multilingual translator for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

“One must be highly fluent in the languages they wish to work with in order to be considered,” Kuykendall said. “I understand that the best way to master a language is to immerse yourself in it.”

She studied in Buenos Aires, Argentina, a year ago and noticed definite improvements in her Spanish upon returning to Lyon.

“I’m hoping the same thing will happen to my French after this summer. There’s much more for me to learn, but I believe that studying abroad is an important first step in mastering languages.”