2014 Alliance Française de Grand Rapids Scholarship Announcement
- Award: 1st place - $1200.00 scholarship; 2nd place - $600.00 Gary Morrison Memorial Scholarship (offered in 2014 only)
- Purpose: To support the study of the French language and culture
- Eligibility: A local college student who currently has at least sophomore status and has declared a major or minor in French
- Use: To be applied to an academic program or purpose specified by the recipient
- Deadline: Applications must be e-mailed by March 15, 2014.
- Date of Award: The scholarship winner will be notified during the last week of April 2014.
- Questions: Contact L. Mathews at 616-550-7057.
Application and recommendation forms can be downloaded by clicking on the links below.
2013-2014 Alliance Française de Grand Rapids Scholarship Winner Jennifer Park
The Next Chapter
“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” Saint Augustine’s words reflect the reason I chose to pursue Hospitality and Tourism Management as my degree, along with my two minors in French and General Business. I decided long ago that I would make traveling a life goal, because I could not stand the thought of being stuck on a single page for my entire life. I wanted to read every word, and I wanted to truly understand it all. With a degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management, I hope to have the opportunity not only to see many different parts of the world, but to help others see more of the world as well. I have the opportunity to be part of an exchange between people and cultures, and that is my way of contributing to this book.
Lately, I have been giving more consideration to the sort of contribution I would like to make. When I first decided to declare Hospitality and Tourism Management as my major, I had just finished working a summer job at the front desk of the largest of Cedar Point’s hotels and resorts. All of my experience thus far has been in hotels, and I have enjoyed it greatly. I am currently completing my second internship as a Group Rooms Assistant at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Because I work in a hotel which attracts travelers from all over the world, I have, on occasion, been called upon to engage in using French professionally when working with guests from Canada and France.
My passion for the French language, as well as francophone culture, has developed significantly since I transferred to Grand Valley State University in 2011. As part of the French department, I have become a member of a tight-knit community. Through events sponsored by our French club, Les Francophiles, I have formed connections with many other students in the department, as well as several of Grand Valley’s international students from France, Germany and the Congo. I have benefitted especially from my friendships with these native French speakers from around the world. Whether through casual encounters on campus or club events such as French film viewings, I enjoy many opportunities to converse in French with my professors and fellow students.
I would someday like to work in a French-speaking country in some capacity, so that I may utilize my skills in the French language to an even greater extent. While I would love to work in a hotel in Paris or Monaco, I am actually most interested in tourism promotion and marketing. In the future, I plan to work for an agency that promotes tourism in French-speaking regions around the world. Fluency in the French language will open up doors for me not only in France, Belgium, Canada, and Switzerland, but also in several island nations such as Martinique and Guadeloupe, as well as many African countries.
The latter of these are the places that actually stand to benefit the most from tourism, and my goal in the industry is to bring tourism to these areas that will have a positive impact on the economy, environment, society, and culture of the area. This is an idea that has been discussed in several of my classes, and this is my passion and my reason for pursuing a concentration in sustainable international tourism. I want to encourage other people to travel and explore what lies beyond the all-inclusive resorts and main tourist attractions, to get off the beaten path and experience the true culture of a place.
This summer I will take part in this cultural exchange firsthand as I travel to France to study abroad and obtain credits toward my minor. I will spend the majority of my time studying the language and culture at an international university in Nice. This opportunity, I am certain, will be invaluable to me. I will have the chance to work towards attaining fluency in the French language by immersing myself in it, as well as in French culture, for nearly two months. During this time, I will also have the occasion to learn alongside students from all over the world. I anticipate that I will grow in my independence and as a person, while broadening my worldview through new experiences. I cannot wait to see where this next chapter will take me.