Why French? Why Mandarin?

WHY FRENCH?

  • 220 million speak French on five continents
  • France is also the only language, besides English, that is taught in every country in the world
  • French is the official language in 29 countries and is used in many international organizations such as the UN and EU
  • I want to visit French Polynesia, African countries, and European countries that speak French. It’s also spoken on 5 different continents, and I’d love to someday travel to all 7 continents.
  • I’ve always had this strange inclination for French music, films, literature, and history. Speaking on French films and literature, J’adore Le Petit Prince! Ce film a un bon message.
  • I’m only recently discovering Francophone cultures and how French is spoken in concentrated areas such as Montreal or Quebec in Canada, in parts of Belgium, and is a lingua franca along with English in French Polynesia, etc. I look forward to learning more!
  • I have this goal of mine where I’ll be able to read current events from different language sources and news outlets to cover most (hopefully someday all of them) regions in the world. French will cover parts of Europe and parts of Africa.
  • Diplomacy-wise and Economically-wise, French is spoken in many countries in Africa
  • Trading-wise, French is the official language of Canada– the US’s top trading partner

 

WHY MANDARIN?

  • I’d be able to speak to ⅕ of the people on this Earth. That’s insane.
  • Mandarin is the official language in 5 countries and is used in many international organizations such as the UN
  • I have Chinese heritage. My great grandfather was half Chinese and spoke Mandarin.
  • I’ve always had a strong affiliation for Asian culture because of my heritage and the 6 years I lived in Japan
  • I’ve always wanted to visit countries like China, Singapore, Taiwan
  • I’d also be able to use Mandarin in Chinatowns here in the US
  • I’m interested in learning about Chinese culture, history, and US-China diplomatic relations
  • I have this goal of mine where I’ll be able to read current events from different language sources and news outlets to cover most (hopefully someday all of them) regions in the world. Mandarin will cover Asia’s region.
  • I went to one of the Chinese Week events earlier in the semester. I can’t remember what the event was, but I remember being enthralled by the culture and feeling a sense of belonging.

 

A case for learning any language:

  • Speak to the heart of that person
  • Opens more immersive travel opportunities
  • You understand your own language better
  • Learn about cultures and histories through that language and learn things that only knowing the language allows
  • etc. (there are so many more reasons out there!)

Itinerary

Purpose: Becoming a global citizen and creating change

Trip Start: 2017             Trip End: ∞

Destinations: 🌎 🌍 🌏

  • International Context (GEF)
  • College
  • Personal

Hi, I’m Amy Ma’ilo. I’m pursuing a political science major and minoring in French and Chinese at the University of Oklahoma. I believe in the potential of language fluency, international relations, and curiosity of other cultures as a bridge between human beings from different parts of the Earth. I am forever grateful to the Global Engagement Fellowship who has given me the opportunity to study abroad during my time in college. 

About the Author

Victoria Fouke is a freshman at the University of Oklahoma. At OU, she studies Journalism and also has a minor in Spanish. Victoria has been actively involved in the journalism programs at her schools for the last three years, and her favorite mediums are photography and video story telling. Since she was a child, she has had a huge heart for animals of all sorts. This transpired through her young-adult life, and now contributes to her passion to stand up and fight for the animals being illegally poached in Africa. Her favorite organizations are the African Wildlife Foundation (www.awf.org/), World Wildlife Fund (www.wwf.org), and Tusk (www.tusk.org). These organizations are transparent, real, and gutsy, shining light on the darkness covering African wildlife. Right now, Victoria is focused on obtaining the resources and experience necessary to combat vicious attacks on endangered animals. In the near future, she plans to travel the world to video and photo document the horrendous conditions plaguing many parts of the African continent. Follow her as she attempts to become more globally engaged here in Oklahoma, before expanding to more parts of the world.