Hometown: Tupelo, MS

Major: Undecided

Gap Year Description:

For the 2009-2010 school year I was an exchange student in the south of France in a town about twenty minutes from St. Tropez. I was in a high school there (yes, my fifth year of high school) and lived with three host families throughout the ten months. I got to spend my year on the French Riviera sailing, and of course swimming, in the Mediterranean, relaxing on the gorgeous beaches, and learning a beautiful, but difficult, language. I was also given several opportunities to travel; one of which was a European Tour with my exchange organization that included cities in France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, and the principality of Monaco. It was an incredible and life-shaping experience that I would to all over again in an instant.

How it influenced your time at Middlebury:

Before arriving at Middlebury, I thought I would be nervous and unsure of myself; however, the opposite seemed to come true. Right from the beginning I was confident in and substantially more independent than I thought I would be. Classes and making friends haven’t been as intimidating because I know that if I managed all that in a foreign language surely I can manage in my mother tongue. Last year, I gained a larger perspective on the world and lived a life that I had never experienced—the south of France is a bit different from the south of the U.S. This acquirement of knowledge and life lessons has helped me enter into the Middlebury Community with extreme ease and self-assurance. Plus, I love my French literature class here.