Getting in Touch with Diverse Cultures
By: Tala Shelbaieh
Last semester, I was granted a scholarship from the French Consulate General Jerusalem in partnership with An-Najah National University. The scholarship was funded by Campus France, an agency working under the supervision of the Ministry of Higher Education and Research that serves to promote higher education and assists in the mobility of students in and out of France.
This scholarship allowed me to take a French language course at L'Alliance Française Bordeaux-Aquitaine. During my time in France, I stayed with a French host family, and that, in my opinion as a foreigner, is the best way to be fully immersed in the language and culture of the country. At the Alliance Française, and after taking a placement exam, I was placed in a class for the level B2.3.
The time I spent there was beneficial on many levels. Firstly, on an academic level, I got the chance to learn about new topics, as well as experience new methods of teaching and learning. Secondly, this scholarship allowed me to go through a journey of self-development as it helped me become more culturally aware, because I got to meet people from various cultural backgrounds, including two Italian and Chinese exchange students who were staying with the same host family. Moreover, this trip made me less dependent on the people around me. Lastly, it gave me the opportunity to explore the city of Bordeaux, because in addition to the classes, I also got to do a lot extracurricular activities thanks to a programme organized by l’alliance française which allowed me to see the most important historical and artistic monuments in Bordeaux such as the Museum of Contemporary Arts and the Museum of Aquitaine.
I can honestly say that thanks to this scholarship, I am now more confident when speaking in French, more understanding when talking to people from different cultural backgrounds and more open to trying new things. And it is chances like this one that distinguish our department from others at An-Najah National University.