Sidney R. Arnold
Learning French has benefitted me in my career plans as an attorney, making me more marketable in my field. After graduating from NMU, I went to law school in Indianapolis, IN, and passed the bar exam this past fall. I am now a licensed attorney in the state of Illinois. Employers consistently ask if I speak another language when I apply for or interview for a position. When I can say “yes, I am proficient in French,” I get an edge on individuals who cannot function as the firm’s translator, when the need arises to converse or translate with a French-speaking client or witness. French has also allowed me to make new friends, further enjoy my hobbies, and travel with ease. French has led me to further explore my love for cooking, with fantastic recipes from the French culture, which I would never have ventured to try to eat, let alone cook, prior to immersing myself in French culture. I would encourage anyone interested in expanding their horizons to take up French, and participate in a study abroad in France through one of the NMU programs.
During my study abroad in Annecy, France, through the Institut Français des Alpes (IFALPES), I made friendships that I maintain to this day. Had it not been for all of us desiring to learn French, not only could I have trouble communicating with these friends, who do not speak English as their primary language, but I would never have met them in the first place. Had I let a language barrier and the Atlantic Ocean prevent me from my desire to visit the French Alps, I might have missed out on some of my favorite memories. Learning French also has aided me when I traveled back to France, as well as when I took a vacation to Montreal. During both trips, I often met individuals who only spoke French, and being able to ask and answer any question, without flipping through a translation dictionary, made those experiences that much more enjoyable.