Graduates 2013-2014

Christian Bale ’14 Senior Profile: French & Francophone Studies

Bale.CI made it my goal freshman year of high school to speak French fluently and I’m proud that I never let that go. Part of the reason was because my mom used to tell me about her semester abroad in Cannes and I couldn’t wait to have my own experience in France. I had planned to continue taking French classes in college but I only decided to pursue the major after taking courses with Pr. M. Leruth and Pr. Fauvel. They were both extremely passionate and got me excited about studying the language. Pr. Leruth has gone out of his way to advise me throughout my college career and I am extremely thankful for his guidance and support.

2) My best experiences have been the close interactions that I’ve had with so many warm and approachable professors that go out the way to encourage me. William & Mary truly does have great teachers. One touching experience that comes to mind was during a sophomore year grammar course with Pr. Kulick. For one of our presentations, we were supposed to read a piece of poetry out loud. I chose Chanson d’automne by Paul Verlaine and I enlisted my roommate to play his viola while I read to the class. As a joke, I passed around a hat to collect some extra cash! A few days later after class, Pr. Kulick gave me a card with a $20 inside saying that she really appreciated my creativity.

3) Studying a foreign language has changed my life. I got to meet so many people during my time abroad and I’ve made great friends in the our program. It has also made me a more tolerant and culturally curious person for which I’m very grateful. I was especially excited to take two literature courses my senior year, one with Pr. Compan and the other with Pr. St. Clair. They were absolutely spectacular.

4) I will stay a fifth year at William & Mary to earn a master degree in Public Policy and I hope to audit additional French courses. After earning my graduate degree, I plan to work to pay down some of my students loans and to eventually attend either law school or pursue a Ph.D.