Manchester University
Oak Leaves

November 11, 2016

French Major Explores Europe

Lizzy Raimondi

Genoveva Ramirez was living “la vie en rose” last spring when she studied abroad in France. The senior is pursuing a French and secondary education major with minors in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) and Spanish. 

It was her dream to go to France, so it was serendipitous that a graduation requirement from the French program was that she do exactly that. As an added bonus, she received a financial award.  “I won the Benjamin A. Gilman International scholarship for study abroad,” she said. “One of their purposes is to help minority students have the opportunity to study abroad. I encourage all students who plan to study abroad to check their website and apply.”

Ramirez stayed in Strasbourg, France, which is by the border of Germany on France’s northwestern side. While living in the city, she traveled to Paris, where the Eiffel Tower stirred her emotions. She paid a visit to the spectacular Palace of Versailles and got to see the Mediterranean Sea from the dazzling vantage point of the Riviera. She also visited Monte Carlo, which is in Monaco. Though each spot inspired her, the cities that stood out the most were Paris and Nice. She also fondly recalled Strasbourg and the Vosges mountain range that loomed over the city. Being meshed in the mix of nature and city scene was an “enriching” experience, and one that she wants to visit again someday.

Ramirez also noted that the food style is different. “The portions of the food are quite a bit smaller than what is served In the United States, but the quality of the food is unfaltering,” she said. “The yogurt and cheese were some of the most memorable, because the dairy there is unpasteurized and unprocessed.”

Traveling is an important part of Ramirez's life, and she hopes to do more. “Traveling allows one to realize we occupy a tiny place in the world,” she said. “It teaches us to respect other cultures, customs, and languages. It teaches us that even though there are boundaries, we are all in reality quite similar.”