August 6, 2014
Creating a Solid Foundation
Coming to MSU with a background in French, English and Italian, recent graduate Paige Hook was drawn to the College of Arts & Letters by its rich sense of community, resources and stimulating curriculum. Settling on a double major in English and French, Paige found a path that supported her interests.
Finding similarities in each of her foreign language courses allowed Paige to improve her communication skills and gain a rich background in language.
“By the time I got to MSU and took higher-level French classes, it was the analytical and reading skills that I was able to hone.”
Outside of the classroom, Paige got involved by joining the French club—a group that provided her with access to faculty, peers, and leadership opportunities.
“I loved the community that the French club created between French students and the department.”
Before long, Paige’s passion was noticed, and she was approached by the club’s executive board members to be a junior officer—an opportunity that positioned her as a liaison between the French professors, department, and students. In addition to gaining a valuable network, Paige was also given the chance to develop new skills.
“As the club was growing, we developed a social media team on the executive board. I was in charge of the website.”
Eventually, Paige’s dedication culminated in a leadership role as French club president.
French for Kids: Teaching Others and Herself
As a junior, Paige was honored when the Center for Language Teaching Advancement (CeLTA) asked her to be a teacher for a class of young French students. For two semesters, she built strong relationships with her students, and found that she wasn’t just teaching a class, but was also discovering her own learning style.
“When you teach, you’re constantly thinking about words and phrases that you use all the time. Teaching French actually makes your spelling and grammar better.”
From Academics to Aspirations
In addition to her work with the French club and CeLTA, Paige made the most of the study abroad opportunities offered through the College of Arts & Letters by going to Europe twice. Through her travels, Paige found both inspiration and motivation to excel.
“I always intended on getting a minor in French, but once I took my trip to France, I knew I couldn’t stop. That’s when I decided to add the second major.”
During her second trip, Paige worked with the Fulbright Commission to develop orientation and transition programs to help potential students understand American culture and school systems. With a strong knowledge of the French language and culture, she was able to make an impact on how well students adjusted to the United States. Paige credits her trip to Paris as the inspiration to pursue a career in study-abroad management.
Story by Sharee Fink, originally published on the College of Arts and Letters website.