I grew up in Orange, California in a bicultural household. My mother is French, and my father is American. Though I have always lived in the United States (until now!) I visit my grandparents and other family in France during my free summers. Taking long trips from a young age, often on my own, made me very comfortable with travel, and instilled in me a bit of wanderlust and enthusiasm for engaging with new cultures.
When it came time for college, I seized the opportunity to study away from home at the University of Iowa. I graduated in May of 2016 with a BA in English Literary Studies and a BA in Francophone Literature and Culture. The fabulous professors and mentors with whom I worked encouraged me to pursue classes and projects that really intrigued and inspired me. Our time together also led me to apply for a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant grant (ETA) in Côte d’Ivoire, which I was granted in the spring of my final year at Iowa.
My 9 months here in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire will be the subject of this blog. The food, the culture, my work, my adventures and my struggles. For all of you reading, I hope you get a sense of how life works here and that you come to appreciate, as I hope I will, all that which is unique and beautiful in this country.
During my stay, I will be working at a semi-private school in Marcory, Abidjan called Fondation Alfred Nobel (FAN). I will be assisting English teachers by leading activities, developing lesson plans, and promoting English speaking through clubs and projects. In my time outside the school, I am free to pursue other projects such as joining sports teams, keeping this blog, and/or volunteering at the university.
For more information on related subjects to those discussed in the blog, I invite you to
1). Keep reading!
2). Do a little research
I have included links in the side bar to help contextualize this blog; you will find information on Fulbright, French colonialism, Côte d’Ivoire and more. If you are unfamiliar with these topics, I highly recommend you look into them, as they have played, and will continue to play, a seminal role in my experiences here.