Rosie is a student from Colby College, and she came in France with our program during the Fall semester. Here, she took a literature class at Paris Diderot, and she wrote about how this experience was for her.

Every Thursday evening, I head across Paris for my course, “Du faits divers au récit littéraire,” where we conduct in depth analysis of true crime novels. We started our course with In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (De Sang-froid in French) and moved on to L’Adversaire by Emmanuel Carrère. At first, I was nervous to take a French university course on a new subject with students who study literature and cinema. In the United States, I study Political Science and French. I was worried I would not be capable of keeping up. It also did not help that I got horribly lost trying to find the classroom on the first day of class.

I was surprised to find that three hours could pass by so quickly. In class, we discussed the different methods that the two authors used and the difficulties they faced in trying to remain objective. My professor really enjoyed having “native speakers” in the class while we read In Cold Blood. We found many discrepancies between the English text and the French translation. For example, in the French text the phrase “murder spree” is translated into “randonnée meurtrière,” which is more like a “murderous hike.” This course was one of my favorite of the semester, and I cannot quantify how much my French improved after being in this class. I gained so much confidence in my written and spoken French, as well as just general confidence, which I hope to carry with me through the rest of my studies.