June 09, 2022

Three members of Susquehanna’s Class of 2022 will begin their postgraduate journeys in Europe through the Teaching Assistant Program in France.

The following alumni will be English teaching assistants in French public schools:

  • Julia Loudenback, a French studies major with a focus in education, will be on the French Caribbean island of Martinique.
  • Lilly Major, a French studies major, will be in the Caen area in northern France’s Normandy region.
  • John Pelaez, a French studies and biomedical sciences double major, will be in the Strasbourg area in northeastern France.

Additionally, Nicole Grace ’21, who has been with TAPIF this year at the Académie de Rennes in Brittany, has been accepted to stay for a second year.

“All of our students who applied to TAPIF this year were accepted, which is very exciting,” said Lynn Palermo, associate professor of French studies. “TAPIF is quite selective in who they accept into this program, so to see the success our students have had speaks to the language and cultural competencies they have gained at Susquehanna.”

This will be the second time Loudenback spends time in the Francophone world outside of mainland France. She went to Dakar, Senegal, for her Global Opportunities program.

Julia Loudenback Julia Loudenback“As a student studying abroad in a French-speaking country, it was a big deal to me to apply to Martinique,” Loudenback said. “While in Senegal, I started learning Wolof, the native language of most people from Dakar. When I get to Martinique, I am hoping to learn some Creole.”

Pelaez’s TAPIF placement also marks a return abroad — he conducted his GO program at the Université de Strasbourg.

“I wanted to participate in TAPIF to both further improve my French language skills and help others improve their language skills,” Pelaez said. “While studying abroad last semester, I had the opportunity to be an English language assistant. After doing this internship, I realized how rewarding it was to not only see the students’ progression with the English language but also see how excited they got when they learned new words, phrases or cultural references.”

John Pelaez John PelaezAfter their time with TAPIF, Pelaez hopes to attend medical school, while Loudenback would like to continue teaching English in the French-speaking world and later study linguistics and translation at the graduate level in Europe.

The goal of TAPIF is to strengthen English-language instruction in French schools by establishing a native speaker presence, while also providing American Francophiles with excellent teaching experience and first-hand knowledge of French language and culture.

Every year, more than 1,500 American English language teaching assistants are hired by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States, which manages the program. These assistants teach in public schools across all regions of metropolitan France and in the overseas departments of France such as French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Réunion.