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At Lycoming College, studying a different language can expand your horizons. Evan Armstrong ’21, coordinator for the outdoor leadership and education program at Lycoming, recently was accepted into the Teaching Assistant Program in France (TAPIF), a competitive opportunity to teach English to students of all ages. The program is designed to provide experience to undergraduates with an interest in global careers, including education, international business, international policy and development, and more.
“As Evan’s acceptance into the competitive program shows, studying a foreign language gives Lycoming students access to opportunities all over the world,” said Andrew Stafford, Ph.D., assistant professor of French. “While teaching, Evan will have the chance to make connections in Europe that could lead to a successful career in line with his professional goals. I am incredibly proud of Evan for his acceptance into the program.”
In the classroom, Stafford encourages students to look into jobs and internships that are available abroad. In response to this assignment, Stafford said, “Students are often surprised by the variety of opportunities available internationally and are drawn to experiences that they could never even have imagined. Studying a foreign language truly opens your eyes to new perspectives and your mind to new possibilities.”
Undergraduates in the seven-month program are placed in public schools across France. In addition to working with educators to assist in teaching French students English, undergraduates experience what it's like to immerse oneself in a different culture.
“The program really focuses on cultural and linguistic exchange, something I got a taste for through my work in the Dominican Republic while at Lycoming,” said Armstrong. “I hope to continually experience that throughout my career.”
Along with his experience with the Warrior Coffee Project, an initiative to help under-privileged countries with sustainable development, Armstrong additionally worked as an Outdoor and Leadership Education (OLE) instructor. Opportunities such as these at Lycoming College set students, such as Armstrong, up for success. In the program, he has been placed in southern France in the Académie de Toulouse where he will be working in a secondary school.
On how this experience will set Armstrong up for his goals, he said, “I really see this as a launching point for a career in international relations and development. TAPIF is a well-known program in those circles, and the experience of living abroad and speaking French in a professional setting will combine with my previous experience and education in political science and economics to make me a well-rounded applicant in the field.”
Lycoming College’s department of modern language studies enables students to expand their current skills and take on new challenges in our increasingly global community. The abundance of rewards and possibilities available to people who are proficient in multiple languages and sensitive to other cultures are endless and exciting. More information on studying modern languages at Lycoming is available at https://www.lycoming.edu/modern-language-studies/.