It takes quite a bit of courage deciding to study abroad for a year in a country where everything is foreign.
Fortunately for Vivien Le Coarer, that leap of faith has paid off.
Le Coarer is a French exchange student who chose Sonoma State University as the place to spend his year abroad in the U.S.
Le Coarer also really enjoys the difference in size and amenities at Sonoma State compared to his university.
“This university is much larger,” said Le Coarer. “You have everything you need on campus. It is like a small city.”
He is also impressed with the difference in lesson planning here.
He explained that at his university in France, most classes consist of a teacher lecturing for the entire class period.
He said that this type of lesson only offers basic knowledge of a topic and does not include an opportunity for discussion amongst other students.
He also added that there is less interaction between the teacher and student.
He likes that there is more of a focus on discussions and the development of creative thoughts and ideas in classes at Sonoma State.
“There are pros and cons to both ways of teaching,” said Le Coarer. He is thankful that he gets to experience a variety of lesson plans.
Le Coarer put his cultured self to use last semester as a Peer Tutor Language Facilitator.
This program offers individuals who are advanced and/or fluent in another language to facilitate conversation groups every week for students who are taking the entry level language classes.
Le Coarer was able to use his knowledge of the French culture and language to give beginning
French students, an international perspective on the importance of learning a new language.
He enjoyed the opportunity to share his stories and knowledge with eager students.
He was also given a taste of what it might be like to be a teacher, which might be a possible career for him.
Le Coarer is majoring in English, while specifically focusing on literature, history and linguistics. He enjoys all types of English literature.
Le Coarer plans to graduate this year and then continue to pursue his Masters and then Ph.D. at a university in France.
“Eventually I hope to teach English literature in France,” said Le Coarer.
Le Coarer lives in the dorms on campus and has enjoyed all of the opportunities and activities offered in the living community.
“There are always activities going on: bowling, movies and trips to the supermarket. There is always something to do.”
He enjoys all of the opportunities to meet new people since dorms aren’t like that back in France.
Le Coarer never lived in the dorms at his university back in Paris. However, he explained that the size and quality of the living options here are much better than anything he has seen back home.
Le Coarer had the opportunity to visit San Francisco over the winter break.
He explained that he is not a huge fan of big cities to begin with and that he prefers a city less orderly than that of San Francisco.
Le Coarer grew up in a small town near Versailles, with the option of adventures in Paris just a short drive away. “I like getting lost in the city,” said Le Coarer.
Besides the literature he is studying for school, Le Coarer also enjoys reading for fun.
He recently read “Ender’s Game” and loved it. He also loves listening to music.
“I have phases where I listen to different genres of music,” said Le Coarer.
One week he will listen to only metal bands and then the next week he will only listen to hard rock.
One thing that Le Coarer does not like about his time abroad is that even though he is living in beautiful wine country, he is not old enough to drink alcohol in the U.S.
It must be very difficult to come from a country where you are old enough to have a glass of wine, and then travel to wine country in California and not be able to legally drink.
Hopefully some day in the future he can return to Sonoma to finally enjoy a glass of Sonoma or Napa wine.