Month: June 2016

“I wish I could go back and do it all again”

Claudia Legg graduated with a BA Hons in French in 2012 and is now working in the legal sector. Her memories of her time studying French at Stirling highlight the opportunities for study abroad and the range of topics studied over the course of 4 years:

“I went to look at Stirling University after friends in Scotland said I should. I didn’t really know what to expect and having visited Newcastle and Edinburgh Universities, both of which are city campuses, I never thought too much about a campus university. However, Stirling absolutely took my breath away (it was 20 degrees and sunny which always helps!), especially after only 2 hours sleep for the flight to Scotland.

I had always done a language at school and French was an easy decision for me. The course description and the variety of modules really sold Stirling to me. The fact that you could study subjects as opposite as politics and cinema and then combine it into your language modules was an incredible chance. So the course, coupled with the campus and the social opportunities made Stirling the ideal choice even if my parents were horrified during the 900 mile round trip they had to make!

My favourite modules were the postcolonial France modules, “Introduction to African Literature and Cinema” and the cinema module “Screening the City”. One film (5th Element) even came up in a pub quiz… the fact I got the answer wrong is no reflection on the course! My modules choices then formed my dissertation title and research, a major benefit of the Stirling course.

2016 Legg End of dissertation
End of my dissertation!

 

However the best part of studying at Stirling was the fact I could visit abroad- not once but twice. I spent my semester abroad at Limoges where I was able to easily get to Bordeaux, Oradour and other historical places. The Limousin is steeped in history and due to familial connections I was able to visit places that were not easily accessible to tourists otherwise. I was lucky enough to also go to Paris on a day trip to research my dissertation at the Cité nationale de l’histoire de l’immigration. If I had studied a different subject, other than French, I would never had the confidence to go abroad and do all these wonderful things.

2016 Legg Limoges Exchange Students in Bordeaux
Limoges Exchange Students in Bordeaux

 

Since I graduated in 2012, I worked for two years in retail where we had a few French customers and I was asked to help translate where there were problems with customer care. Since 2014 I have been working in two law firms where French documents have periodically come in and I have been asked to help translate. Already at my new firm my boss has said there are more French clients coming through and that I will need to brush up on my conveyancing French (not that was on the course… I’m not sure how often “drainage search” would come up in conversational French). I think, though, other than French, the skills the course teaches you are invaluable. Presentations, written skills, discussions and debates all occur in day to day life. Stirling not only prepares you for your degree subject but also for the working world. I wish I could go back and do it all again.”

Many thanks to Claudia for this blog post and best wishes for the future!

French Prizewinners

Halfway between Exam Boards and Graduation seems a good point to post congratulations to the students whose excellent performances this past academic year have brought them success with our various French prizes.

Congratulations, first, to Alasdair MacDonald who will be graduating in a couple of weeks in Psychology with a European Language and who has scooped our annual Simone de Beauvoir Prize for the best performance by a final year student in French. Alasdair was also the recipient of our annual Arts and Humanities Research Prize for French for his dissertation, supervised by French at Stirling’s Elizabeth Ezra, on ‘French Cinematic Representations of les années noires.’

The 2016 translation prize was jointly awarded to Alasdair and to his fellow Year 4 student, Jana Mladková, who will be spending 2016-17 at the Ecole de Management in Strasbourg to complete her integrated Master’s in International Management and Intercultural Studies. The translation prize is awarded to the student who achieves the highest combined grade across translation assessments in Semesters 7 and 8, and both Alasdair and Jana completed some exceptional work. Congratulations to both.

Congratulations, too, to Stefano Intropido who has just completed the first year of his BA Hons in International Politics and Languages at Stirling and who was the very worthy recipient of our prize for the Best Overall Performance by a Year 1 Student. And yet more congratulations to Jeanne Nozahic who has just completed Year 2 of our Integrated Masters in International Management and Intercultural Studies and who is the very deserving recipient of the Best Overall Performance by a Year 2 Student this year.

We’re also delighted to congratulate Charlene Hoag who has won the prize for Best Performance by a Year 1 Student in our Beginners’ stream at the end of the first year of her degree in French and History. Congratulations!

Many congratulations to all our prize-winners and we look forward to following their success over the years to come.

Plans for an exhibition

French at Stirling’s Fiona Barclay recently visited the Ecomusée in Fresnes to examine the research that formed the basis of he Museum’s 2013-14 exhibition Pieds-noirs ici, la tête ailleurs. Fiona is currently working on representations of the pieds noirs from 1962 onwards and will be curating an exhibition here in Scotland in 2017-18 that will bring together key elements of the Fresnes collection.