Picard finds 'haven of peace' at MUN
Stéphane Picard came to Memorial University hoping to have “amazing interactions” and “enjoy a relaxed atmosphere.” She found both beyond her expectations.
“All my expectations were met when I got to MUN and even more,” Picard said. “I taught French 1501 and enjoyed every moment of it. It gave me the opportunity to discover the Canadian educational system and meet wonderful students who were eager to discover the French language and culture.”
Picard, from France, spent 10 months in St. John’s teaching two semesters worth of French at the university. As soon as she found out it was possible for her to teach at Memorial, Picard jumped at the chance.
“In December 2012, I received an email that was advertising the exchange program that Memorial University has with Bordeaux University, and I decided to apply for the position of ‘Lectrice’ (lecturer). I could select between St. John's or Toronto. Of course, I picked St. John's. In St. John's, it is easier to bond with people.”
Picard has a family connection to Memorial, as her mother was the university’s first teaching assistant in the French Department.
“I had the opportunity to visit Newfoundland five years ago with my family. My mother was the first teacher assistant in the French department. She enjoyed her stay there and wanted us to discover this beautiful province. I fell in love with the amazing landscapes, the ocean and the cliffs.”
Newfoundland has a “wonderful spirit,” according to the French traveler. “Staying in Newfoundland was an incredible experience. People are very welcoming, eager to help and make sure that we are enjoying our time in Newfoundland. The biggest change was this wonderful spirit.”
Traveling abroad is beneficial to all students, according to Picard, and she recommends it to everyone. Furthermore, she encourages international students to give Memorial University a try, as it is a “haven of peace.”
“I would strongly recommend travelling abroad. It is a great way to embrace a new culture, meet people from everywhere and develop your language skills. You also discover a lot about yourself. It definitely provided me with an enriched perspective. (Also) I would strongly encourage students to travel to MUN and appreciate this village within the city, where everyone is welcomed and appreciated for who they are. It is a haven of peace. “
The St. John’s adventure wasn’t the first time Picard had traveled abroad, but she was impressed with the services available at Memorial for international students. Picard was heavily involved in many of the activities organized by the International Student Advising office such as the Culture to Community Program, where International students and Interns such as Picard visited rural schools to promote a cross-cultural exchange.
“It was not my first time studying abroad, but the International centre and the International Student Advising office facilitated a lot of the process of leaving a place and starting anew,” Picard said. “I was impressed by the support that they provided the international students with. Memorial University has so many services that help us feel at home. The International Centre and the ISA have wonderful teams that make sure that all our questions are answered.”
For more information on studying abroad or on studying at Memorial, please refer to our website here.