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After studying in France, Memphis-area youth says mission accomplished

 

Jamie Martin’s academic achievement at Lausanne earned him a chance to travel to France and study French for a year at the Saint Denis International School. by Julia Griggs
Special to the Tri-State Defender

Last summer, Jamie Martin, 15, attended a three-week French program in Loches, France hosted by his school, Lausanne Collegiate School. A host family – the Marque family – provided housing during his stay and an ongoing relationship took root.

 
Jamie Martin wanted to become fluent in French and he got that job done while studying in France. (Courtesy photo)

Martin’s academic achievement at Lausanne earned him a chance to return to France and study French for a year at the Saint Denis International School. He seized the opportunity and now has a trunk-load of memories and valuable experiences

“During the week, I stayed on campus at Saint Denis International School, and on the weekend I stayed with the Marque family,” he said, recounting the sojourn for the Tri-State Defender.

“I took regular classes just like other French students. The first three months of school was difficult for me because I didn’t understand the language very well. I took two years of French before leaving and now I speak better French than I do English,” said Martin.

That means mission accomplished in that his goal was to become fluent in French.

Along the way, Martin made a lot of international friends. Communicating in French via Facebook helped with the bonding process and he found plenty to talk about it.

“America has a huge influence on French fashion, music, television, and movies,” he said.

Roquita Coleman, Martin’s mother, said she supported her son’s study abroad because she desires for him to be able to participate in a global market place. Language and international experience makes you different in a way that is relevant today, she said.

And, she said, “He learned courage and a great deal of discipline while studying in France.”

Coleman said she found the people of France generous and kind.

“The Marque family took very good care of me, especially the mom,” said Coleman.

After he graduates, Martin envisions a visit to Spain.

“I really want to encourage others and students my age to study abroad,” he said.

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