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Diverse Immersion Experiences Give Students an Edge

June 7, 2018

Photo of L'Etoile du Nord French immersion school

Photo of L'Etoile du Nord French immersion school
L'Etoile du Nord, a French immersion school in St. Paul.

The Twin Cities boasts language immersion schools in Chinese, French, German, Korean, and Spanish. These schools allow children to immerse themselves in a different language and culture at a young age, exposing them to unique perspectives and alternative ways of thinking.

Here, four undergraduate students share the immersion experiences they had in French and how that background prepared them for continuing their French studies into adulthood.

With career interests ranging from engineering to music education to journalism, these students show how to conquer and overcome language challenges at a young age, including going between French and English in math class and keeping up with vocabulary in two languages. They reflect on how their immersion experience—some dating back to before kindergarten—aids them in their studies today as they work toward their future careers.

Portrait of Sophia Wright.

Weaving Music with French

Sophia Wright discusses how her majors in French and music work together in harmony. Wright applies her language skills and understanding of French culture and history to her studies of music and art. She draws connections between art forms and time periods to create a clearer picture of Western history with the help of her French immersion background. By overcoming challenges in her immersion experience, Wright was able to excel in her other classes.


Portrait of Isaac Morales.

Engineering with the Help of French

Majoring in mechanical engineering and minoring in French, Isaac Morales talks about ways he hopes to use his French skills when he begins his career. With appreciation for his French immersion experience at L'Etoile du Nord, Morales also talks about ways he keeps his French skills fresh and sharp by reading French news.


Portrait of Lily Mahan.

French Immersion Taught Me to be Mindful 

Recent graduate Lily Mahan talks about starting French immersion preschool at the age of three, what it was like to transition out of a full immersion program at the end of elementary school, and how knowing French affects her worldview. “I am who I am today because of my immersion experience,” she says. Lastly, graduating with a French major, Mahan talks about her future and how she hopes to live and work in France one day.

Portrait of Isabella Dally-Steel.

Immersion through Learning Abroad

Bella Dally-Steele strives to learn as many languages as she can to fuel a career in international journalism. Her first immersion experience was as an exchange student in France as a high school student, which she has followed up by learning abroad in Seoul, South Korea and Fez, Morocco, in college. She is pursuing a bachelor of individualized studies in French, Spanish, and mass communication.

This story was written by an undergraduate student account executive in CLAgency. Meet the team.