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College of Liberal Arts

University of Mississippi

Croft Student Studies Abroad, Learns About French Heritage

Emilie Dayan of Oxford, a junior at the University of Mississippi, began the fall semester in an unusual way. She bought a one-way ticket to France.

A student in the Croft Institute for International Studies and a member of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, Dayan is studying this semester at the Université Catholique de l’Ouest in Angers, France. Of both American and French ancestry, she also plans to connect with family members who live in that part of the world.

Pursuing a double major in international studies and French, Dayan is eyeing a career in supranational politics, specifically working for an international organization, such as the United Nations or the European Union, in areas of economic development.

“Traveling is a form of learning that is unique from all others because it involves all of our senses and challenges both our mental and physical capacities,” Dayan said.

Focusing this study experience on becoming more fluent in the French language, she is participating in French language classes, as well as some French literature and history classes.

“One goal by the end of the semester is to be able to successfully tell jokes in French,” she said. “One thing that I have learned from traveling is that humor does not transcend language and culture. It’s difficult to express my American sense of humor in French.”

While Dayan’s main goals of travel are associated with education, she has another more personal reason for choosing to study in France.

“I am both a French and American citizen, so I hope that living in France for an extended period of time will help me grow closer to that side of my heritage and also help me to further understand my identity as a dual citizen,” she said. On weekends, she plans to visit family members located throughout France.

She also expects to spend time in the Italian cities of Florence, Siena and Rome, as well as the Cinque Terre region. During her two semester breaks, she plans to visit friends in Germany, as well as venture to southern Spain and Ireland.

Dayan left Oxford in August with a one-way ticket to France, but she says she definitely plans to return to Ole Miss in time for the spring semester. After completing her undergraduate program in May 2011, she wants to attend law school.

Dayan will receive UM credit for the courses as part of an exchange program directed by the UM Study Abroad Office. These exchanges provide the opportunity for UM students to study abroad for the cost of their tuition and also allow them to use their local scholarships, as well as state and federal loans and grants, to help defray the cost of studying abroad.

A 2007 graduate of Oxford High School, Dayan is the daughter of Franck and Renee Dayan of Oxford.

For more information, visit,ˍabroad/, andˍlanguages/French.html.