Caroline is one of our awesome Alumni Ambassadors and she shared some of her best memories and wisdom with us. The icing on the proverbial study abroad cake? Meeting your favorite actress at the Cannes Film Festival!
On the Cannes Film Festival:
AIFS coordinated internships at the Cannes Film Festival, and through their help, I was able to work for a company that let me blog and film inside the festival – an amazing opportunity.
On our staff:
AIFS has on-site directors who took care of us. I didn’t realize how helpful that would end up being until one of my friends got a serious kidney infection, had to go to the hospital for two nights, and our director took care of everything.
On what made her experience special:
It’s hard to translate what made it so special, it’s hard to pinpoint. All I know is I came away with dozens of lifelong friends, a proficiency, finally, in French, postcards from all over Europe, extensive knowledge of four metro systems that confused the daylights out of me back in January, and an incredible desire to go back and travel. It was so special because I did things I only dreamed about before.
On her favorite photo:
It’s nothing fancy, artistically, but it means a lot to me. Before going to Cannes, I joked about meeting Marion Cotillard, my favorite actress, and just jaunting down the red carpet with her. Well, when the festival came around in May, I did get to walk down the red carpet for a couple of movie premieres, and I did meet Marion Cotillard one morning outside a press conference. I spoke to her just briefly, long enough to proclaim my love of her movies and ask for a photo, and amazingly enough, I did all of that in coherent French. So, that’s my favorite photo, hands down. She was incredibly nice to a regular fan like me.
On how she changed:
Before studying abroad, I had spent, at most, three weeks away from my family. I knew no one in my program, so I was incredibly nervous. Add to that, I’m a bit of an introvert.
With that said, going abroad allowed me to grow up, away from all those comforts and training wheels that were with me at home. I learned to be more independent and resourceful. Studying abroad lent me a new confidence that I didn’t have before and a new appreciation for different cultures and people.