French Major Hollyn Formosa enjoyed her recent summer internship at the KEDGE Business School’s Marseille, France campus so much she would often stay beyond her scheduled shift to continue conversations with students and staff. She said her passion for the French language and her interest in returning to France (following a high school cultural exchange program) inspired her to apply for this position through the LSA International Internship Program.
As an Admissions Facilitator, Formosa was part of a team that welcomed prospective students. She organized schedules, meals, and travel, and accompanied the students throughout their visit to the campus. She even participated in a choreographed musical performance given at the end of each session.
Conversing with prospective students was an integral part of Formosa’s responsibilities. She said she met students from all over the world, including from France, Morocco, Spain, and Brazil. “I loved the diversity,” she remarked. “To communicate with the students in French and English was very cool.”
Formosa noted that she benefitted from being immersed in the French language. “I definitely feel my comprehension skills improved,” she said. “Before going, I would tense up if I didn’t understand something in French, but as time passed, I was able to pick up on the little things.”
Throughout her experience, she kept a journal of French words and expressions she hadn’t encountered before. “I have that to reflect on and go through,” she said. “I’ve continued it when I do readings now.”
Formosa said she enjoyed the atmosphere of Marseille. “It is a wonderful place to live and study and meet new people,” she remarked. “It was interesting to explore and walk around the city. It was amazing. I remember the first time I took the Metro to the Old Port. The Mediterranean Sea was right there. It is so beautiful.”
Upon returning to Ann Arbor, she said she noticed that her internship experience has helped her to become “more open and more inspired to talk with others. I definitely think it helped me grow as a person, academically and personally,” she noted.
For students considering interning abroad, Formosa recommends that “whether something directly interests you or not, pursue it. Either way you’ll get something out of it. You’ll come out if it having learned something.” She advises that students “not be hesitant or shy when going abroad because you can learn from one another and you can definitely take away things from meeting new people.”
As for her future plans, Formosa will be adding two more majors: Political Science and International Studies. She’s also interested in learning Russian and Arabic. Formosa has remained in contact with the friends she made during her internship and said she plans to return to France soon.
“I would go back to Marseille in a heartbeat,” she remarked.