April 26, 2013

Reflections of an Engineer in France

Rebecca McIver ’15 (Mableton, Ga.) is spending the semester studying French language and culture in Paris. She wrote the following article about her time abroad.

Rebecca McIver ’15 stands in front of the statue of the Marquis de Lafayette in Metz, France

Rebecca McIver ’15 with the statue of the Marquis de Lafayette in Metz, France

My spring semester started with a move from one Lafayette to another: from Lafayette College to Résidence Lafayette in Metz, France.  As a mechanical engineering and international studies dual degree major, it was not only a requirement, but also a dream to be able to spend a semester in France and use my French language and cultural skills.  That dream became a reality when I discovered that Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Ga., my hometown, had a campus in Lorraine, France.

My language skills have also come in handy in my internship in the higher education and research department of a community-based organization called Metz Metropole.  While the first few days on the job were difficult, I was able to learn quickly in order to survive.  This internship is not only making a difference in my French, but I am also learning research principles and public policy, while making a number of good connections.  After graduation, I hope to work for an international company or organization.  Learning to do business in another language and country is an opportunity that will benefit me as I prepare for my career.

Rebecca McIver ’15 stands by a poster outside Résidence Lafayette in Metz

Rebecca McIver ’15 outside Résidence Lafayette in Metz

Interestingly enough, Metz is also the same town where I came across a statue of the Marquis de Lafayette while shopping one weekend.  The French inscription on the bottom of the statute translates to “the first time I heard the name of America I loved it, from that moment I knew she was fighting for her freedom, I burned with the desire to shed my blood for it.”

The circle is complete: A student from Lafayette College travels to France, lives in Résidence Lafayette, and finds a statue of her College’s namesake in her host city!  I am honored to be a small part of this legacy at Lafayette College.

posted in Academic News, Engineering, Have Cur Non Impact, News and Features, Student Profiles, Students, Top News

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  1. Rebecca,
    I also studied engineering and French while I was at Lafayette. However, back then, it was not possible to go abroad and study while keeping up with my engineering studies. So glad that things have changed for the better allowing you this opportunity. Continued success abroad!

    says Linda
    May 7, 2013 at 12:27 am
  2. Sounds like a great experience Becca. Such a well written piece shows that you are truly a multi-talented engineer.

    says Chuck Bachman
    May 3, 2013 at 4:48 pm
  3. Becca,
    I am so incredibly proud of you. I loved reading your reflections. Keep up the good work.

    says Marci Mitchell
    May 1, 2013 at 6:51 pm

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