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Modern Languages and Literatures

Lake Forest College alumna Jennifer Lindblom ’11 reaches out from France

Alumni, former Art History and French double major Jennifer Lindblom ’11, is teaching in France this year, under a French government fellowship. She first visited Paris, France, while an undergraduate at Lake Forest College and she found herself drawn back to the country. Lindblom has written back to her former professor, Professor of French Cynthia Hahn, to share her new experiences as a teaching assistant and to share her accomplishments.

Jennifer Lindblom ’11, currently living in France, graduated as an art history and French double major. During her time at Lake Forest College, she participated in the Paris internship program. She writes, “My experience in Paris was unbelievable, and I wanted nothing more than to return for another stay in France.” In her endeavor to return to this amazing country, Lindblom discovered the French government’s Teaching Assistant Program. With the support of her language professors, she applied and her application was successful. However, this time Jennifer is discovering another charming corner of France, Menton.

Lindblom has been in contact with her former professor, Cynthia Hahn, to relate her new experiences. “I’m still pinching myself,” writes Lindblom, “and I can’t wait to see what the next seven months has in store!” In her last email, Jennifer explained that she had found an affordable apartment close to the high school and the middle school she will be teaching at. She works 12 hours a week, as a language assistant with other participants of the fellowship program. In their short time in Menton, Lindblom and her colleagues have already attracted the attention of the regional newspaper Le Nice-Matin. The article describes the more advanced language education curriculum at Vento Middle School, compared to other local schools’ programs.

It is rare for middle schools to have language assistants because they are normally in high schools,” explains Lindblom, “but Vento Middle School has assistants from Colombia, Italy, Germany, and the United States!”

Apart from spending time at the beach, exploring around Menton, and absorbing the scenery, Lindblom has been keeping herself busy as part of the Amnesty International group in France. She sees this as an opportunity to practice speaking French. She and her colleagues petitioned outside a Joan Baez concert in Monaco: “I think I collected around 50 signatures to help Iranians who were imprisoned for forming trade unions after not receiving a salary for several months.” She adds, “I was also able to sneak into the concert which was amazing.”

Although Lindblom has not completely settled into her new life abroad, she is certainly enjoying every moment of it. Most of all, she remembers the Lake Forest community and her family, “I am sad to be missing out on fall this year and am thinking about everyone at home!”