Molly Wright (Class of 2019)

  • photo of Molly Wrighthonors junior major in International Studies
  • minors in French and Italian
  • from North Canton, OH
  • member of the French National Honor Society, Pi Delta Phi
  • studying French and international politics in Aix-en-Provence, France (Fall 2017)
  • loves escargot, taking walks, and watching Bob Ross' The Joy of Painting on YouTube

This amazing [study abroad] experience has made me feel that international studies was indeed the correct major for me. I hope that in the future it will help me work with study abroad programs so that I can encourage other young adults to take a chance on living and studying in a foreign country. Living in Europe has given me invaluable insights on different lifestyles and different worldviews, and I know I'll always be grateful for my opportunity to have lived in France.


Why Miami?

"I first was accepted at Miami as a French major, as I always loved studying languages, and I knew Miami had a great language program. I could tell from the beginning that Miami has a wonderful staff of professors who love what they teach, and I knew this would make my experience unforgettable.

"My first year at Miami was fantastic. I found interest in every class I had signed up for, especially the courses for my major. After consulting with a professor, who suggested that I broaden my studies to a global level, I decided to switch my major to International Studies with a French minor. I don't regret it, as I've come to love almost every class I've taken.

Now that I'm a junior, what I've come to like most about Miami is the student body's ability to live life to the fullest. I constantly see people doing the things they love, whether it's performing on stage, promoting their own start-up, or just getting drinks with friends at a local pub. At Miami, there always seem to be people who make the best out of every opportunity."

Best Miami Experiences

enlarged photo of Molly Wright in Munich"I'm currently studying abroad at the Aix-Marseille Université in Aix-en-Provence, France, focusing on political sciences, and there's no experience that I've had that is even close to comparable! Southern France is beautiful, with Mediterranean climates, cobblestone streets, and cafes with amazing food on every corner. The size of Europe is ideal for travel, and I've been able to visit plenty of French cities, including Marseille, Lyon, Grenoble, and Annecy, as well as other countries, like Switzerland and Germany. I hope to soon see The Netherlands and Italy, as well as Ireland! It's not always cheap, but the memories are well worth it.

"I've also been able to improve my French language abilities here, which is invaluable. I hope in the future to return to France and reconnect with some of the amazing people I've met here.

"Back home at Miami, almost every single staff member that I've come in contact with has helped positively impact my college experience. My French and Italian professors have all done an amazing job at nurturing my desire to learn a foreign language. Looking beyond my major and minors to other classes, the faculty in those departments have opened my eyes to fantastic new subject matter and activities.

"Visiting assistant professor of French Lindsey Scott has really made an impact on my desire to learn French. Before her classes I felt I was only going through the motions, and not really trying to apply myself. But I can say that with her guidance I've been able to enjoy diving headfirst into the French language and culture, and I hope that I can continue my French studies in the future.

"Another professor I've had, visiting assistant professor of global and intercultural studies Matthew Jones, made an impact on my time at Miami as well. I took his Intro to Women's Studies class and haven't had a single regret. He taught us how to critically think about feminism as an intersectional movement, in addition to how we can apply what we learned about gender, race, and sexuality to issues on Miami's campus. I know that I will be looking to take another class of his in the future."

Miami and the Liberal Arts

enlarged photo of Molly Wright on mountain"What I like most about my international studies major is how many areas it covers. I get to learn about history, anthropology, global politics, economics, and more, and I don't have to focus on one specific area. And the fact that my studying a language as well fills a requirement for my major is so beneficial. I'm even considering turning my French minor into a major following my study abroad experience!

"There's one specific course that I took outside of my major that really changed how I think about social and political issues about race, gender and sexuality: WGS 201. Professor Matthew Jones really cared about the subject matter and loved to think of creative ways in which we could study and analyze gender, sexuality, and race issues. The course opened my eyes to many of the daily struggles that people of color face, as well as the invisible privileges that exist as well. The course was extremely informative and eye-opening, and it is a course that all Miami students should take."

Transformative Experiences in Southern France

"My experience studying French and international politics here at the Aix-Marseille Université in Aix-en-Provence is already changing me for the better. I know it's all worth it, because I can already feel myself growing more confident, more outgoing, and even more organized in my life because of my experiences here in France.

"I also find it insane that I get to wake up every morning and be in the amazing city of Aix-en-Provence, where the weather is beautiful and the people are lively. There's always something interesting happening, whether it's the weekly markets, live music performances, dance troupes in the middle of town, or just my neighbor's goat escaping from their backyard!

"This amazing experience has made me feel that international studies was indeed the correct major for me. I hope that in the future it will help me work with study abroad programs so that I can encourage other young adults to take a chance on living and studying in a foreign country. Living in Europe has given me invaluable insights on different lifestyles and different worldviews, and I know I'll always be grateful for my opportunity to have lived in France."

Advice to Students

"Don't be afraid to take a course that you don't think you'll like just because of the title! Oftentimes, professors will take the course in a direction that interests them and introduce topics that you didn't think could fit into the specific course.

"Remember that professors want to see you succeed. If you get a poor grade on a paper or test, don't hesitate to go to their office hours and ask what you can do to get a better grade on the next assignment. I've visited professors a week or so before a paper was due to ask them about specific points in my paper or just for general guidance, and generally they were more than happy to point out where I could improve in my writing or analysis.

"As for study abroad, my advice is to go into the experience with an open mind and a desire to try new things. If I never did anything that made me uncomfortable, I wouldn't have climbed to the peak of Chamechaude or hitchhiked to Grenoble. I would never have made friends with my Airbnb hosts, or tried escargot. Studying abroad is about getting out there and taking on the world, all the while learning that things will never go exactly as planned. Your connecting flight will be cancelled, your hostel won't have your booking, and it will rain the whole time you're in your dream city, but if you go with an open mind and make the best of what you've got, you'll always have a story to tell!"

[December 2017]