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Anna Thomson

About My Study Abroad Program

Major/Minor: French/Education
Program: UNC in Montpellier
Location: Montpellier, France
Term: Spring 2022


Why did you choose to study abroad and how did you select your program?
The program director, Carol Huber, visited my French class at Elon (partner school on the trip) to advertise it, and I immediately knew I wanted to go to this program. It was the only Elon program that involved a homestay and direct enrollment to a French university. When I was deciding on where to transfer, part of the reason I picked UNC was because I wanted so badly to this program.


What did you learn about yourself?
I learned how to trust in myself and my abilities, I struggle a lot with anxiety and I doubt myself often, but in France I was forced constantly to not only do intimidating things, but do them in a second language. I joke that studying abroad cured my anxiety because now whenever I get nervous to do a daily task like order food, I remind myself that I've done it in French, so I can definitely do it in English.


What is one of your favorite memories from your program?
The daily life! Students spend significantly less time in class and doing homework, I had so much time to just explore Montpellier and even surrounding towns. I became a regular at a certain coffee shop I loved, I got a library card and went there at least once a week, plus with public transit I didn't feel like I needed to drive or have a buddy to do things, I felt so free to just exist.


What advice do you have for future study abroad students?
Reach out to people! Friends, family, especially your host family (if you have one). They are there to help you adjust to and enjoy being abroad, so don't be afraid to lean on them.


How do you identify?
Scholarship Recipient, Transfer Student


Could you share any experiences where your identity played a role in your time abroad?
I found that very few people in France knew about the major Jewish holidays, even less about the stories to them, so I got to explain it


Is there any advice you would give to other students who share your identity?
Take pride in being able to teach about it.