Bonjour, ça va ?
Yeah, you got it, I am from France. My name is Maria Hernandez.
Wait, I said France right? I so love this puzzling look I get when I introduce myself whenever I go and I have been to so far. This look which says: “You’re supposed to be French but your name and your last name don’t sound as if you were…”. Well, everything has an explanation.
Both of my parents are Spanish and moved to France more than twenty years ago. I was born, brought up and all in France so I can consider myself as French, I guess. I have lived in an amazing little village called “Les Mées” in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence (Département 04) in the south of France since my very birth, I am a genuine “Méenne”. With 3500 inhabitants, it is the perfect quiet village in the heart of Provence you can imagine: hot summer with the song of cicadas, mild autumn with scattered rain showers, cold winter with a few snow falls and a blooming warm spring. Let’s put in other words: I live in paradise. Have a look by yourselves…
Convinced?! France is not Paris, this is my motto! Come to the south of France and enjoy sunny days almost 365 days a year! All of these amazing landscapes only one hour away from the beach… What else?!
Well, the tourist tour is now over, let’s talk about my academic course and what brought me to Willamette University. I got my Bachelor’s in English Language, Literature and History at l’Université de Provence in 2010, then I did my first year of Master’s at Middlesex University in London, UK. I finished my Master’s in Teaching and Education, English as a second language, in June 2012 at the IUFM d’Aix-en-Provence. I applied for the Fulbright Language Teaching Assistant Program in December 2011 which was a long paperwork process and my application was pre-selected. I went to Paris on January, 18 2012 and got the positive reply on January, 31. I was thrilled but now I had to wait several months to get my placement… I finally got it in May: Willamette University, it was worth the wait! And here I’ve been since August 16, enjoying the American way of life and my American dream at the same time. I am sure it’s going to be a great year, both professionally and personally, among the Willamette community.
A bientôt !