Baylor in Paris offers authentic taste of French life

Nick Berryman | Lariat Photographer
San Angelo junior Ryan Polunsky participated in the Baylor in Paris program in the summer of 2010. She said the host family and daily language practice make the trip a worthwhile summer venture.

By Kelly Galvin

One of many opportunities students in college have is the chance to study in another country. During the summer session, Baylor has an opportunity for students studying French to participate in a program in Paris.

Dr. David Uber, professor of French, said this program gives students a new perspective while learning the French culture.

“The students get to live with host families, which is very important because it sets up for language emergence,” Uber said.

Having just graduated from Baylor in December, Lisa Mozejko participated in the program during the summer of 2010.

“I loved having the freedom to explore Paris and learn about French culture. Everything there is old and beautiful; we had opportunities every day to see parts of Paris and we had the privilege to choose what we wanted to do or where we wanted to go when we went out,” Mozejko said.

To apply for the program, students must be in intermediate or advanced French and have taken it in the spring semester.

“This trip gives students a confidence in the language and the culture,” Uber said. The students take two classes a day, but have ample time to explore Paris.

“We take tours in and around Paris and visit parts with well-known art that is very lively,” Uber said.

The Baylor in Paris program was the first in Europe to set up student living with host families.

“It can be intimidating at first, but if you resolve to learn and see as much as you can, your family is a very valuable resource. My family had great suggestions for fun things to do and we learned a lot about the culture over the course of time we spent with them,” Mozejko said.

San Angelo junior Ryan Polunsky went on the trip with Mozejko and said living with a host family was a great experience.

“My family had two younger children that lived in our apartment and two children about my age away at college that came to visit for a week. My roommate and I were introduced to close family friends and neighbors, which made a difference for me because I actually felt like they tried to make us part of their family,” Polunsky said.

For future students thinking about making this trip to Paris, Mozejko and Polunsky highly recommend taking this opportunity.

“I would advise anyone going on this trip to keep an open mind about the people and the culture…and to at least try to speak French with everyone they can,” Polunsky said.

Both women agreed that even trying to speak the language was helpful when communicating with French natives.

“Don’t be shy or afraid to speak. Some French people can be impatient with Americans, but for the most part they appreciate the effort when you try to speak their language,” Mozejko said.

There are many historical sites and architecture to see in Paris and the trip gives students plenty of time to visit them all.

“We took a class trip to the Loire Valley, where we toured several castles. It was amazing to see how well they were being preserved; it was interesting to learn about some of the history behind them,” Mozejko said.

Uber said each student comes back with fond memories and a great improvement in language abilities.

“This experience certainly improved my French-speaking ability. Simply being immersed in the culture helped, but being forced to speak the language with our families helped immensely,” Pulunksky said.

The program applications for this summer are due by March 14. For any further information, contact Uber at