Editor’s note: Tufts in Talloires is a six-week summer program offering academic courses to Tufts undergraduates—74 last summer—at the Tufts European Center while simultaneously housing them with host French families living in and around Annecy. The program’s 29 MacJannet Scholars—so named because the MacJannet Foundation subsidizes their fees—reflected on the experience in an anonymous online survey. Excerpts are below. – D.R.
The idea of spending six weeks with a host family is very intimidating, but it is definitely worth it. I had a great time and learned a lot, and getting to know my host family was one of the highlights of my experience here.
The best aspect of the program was the host families. We may have our differences, and mine did not always seem what I expected, but that is the best way to learn a new culture and language. My host family was very nice and involved. Had I done this experience without a host family, I don’t believe I would have had such formative experiences or as much fun.
Talloires is an amazing opportunity to immerse yourself in the French culture and broaden your horizons by living with a host family while still having the comfort of other Tufts students and staff around for support. I would not have been able to study abroad without this experience. I felt I developed new relationships and made friends I would have never met at Tufts.
My patient host mom
Maybe it’s something in the mountains, maybe it’s the magic of France, but these experiences, many unexpected, will be ones I’ll treasure for the rest of my life.
Living and breathing cheese
Tufts in Talloires always seemed like an interesting program to attend, but you will never understand how magical it is until you live, breathe, and eat all of the cheese in Talloires. I loved how I was always able to find a faculty member or intern, no matter the time. Everyone went out of their way to help me.
I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I am pleasantly surprised at how great my time here was. Talloires has become one of my favorite places in the world. It’s everything you’d expect and more.
Tufts in Talloires also offered a beautiful view while taking two Tufts credits. But be warned: These are actual classes that you have to take seriously. The best part of this program is the opportunity to learn a new culture while reconfirming your personal culture and history.
Connecting with professors
The structure of the two Tufts courses paired with hiking, swimming and exploring every day is a great way to spend a portion of summer. The small class-sized setting made both of my classes very engaging. It was easy to connect with professors about the course material and even get to know them outside of class as well. The field trips for each class were also a really unique part of the learning experience. But the best part of the program was the setting and the program’s reputation in town, because you really feel welcomed into a totally new community.
Summer camp, plus….
The Tufts in Talloires program feels like a summer camp where you can let your inner child be free all the while taking interesting and engaging classes rooted in the surrounding culture.
Everyday French life
The ability to really experience everyday life in France was the most enjoyable part. I really felt like I got to know the local Talloires community better than I expected. Over the course of the program, you can make great memories and really engage with the local community.
Learning from the landscape
I am in awe of how beautiful Annecy and Talloires are. You learn just as much from the mountains, lake, and culture as you do in your classes.
Once in a lifetime
I would say it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience a new culture, to meet incredible people, and to get a jump on some course credit. What more could you ask for?
Living on a different continent for six weeks is the best decision you can make. I loved spending time and getting to know my family, exploring this city and being able to travel to other European cities, since we are so centrally located.
Best places in the world
Talloires and Annecy are the best places in the world. The nature is beyond gorgeous, the food is the best you’ll ever have, and the people have inspired me and taught me so much.
Six weeks of growth
By the end of the six weeks, you will be astonished at how you have grown and by the unique ways in which you have taken advantage of the opportunities here.
French isn’t necessary, but…
While speaking French is not necessary to come here, it is extremely helpful, especially for getting to know the people and the culture around you.
Unique learning experience
Gaining independence in an international setting— this was the most daunting aspect before I left but now I know I can handle it (well)!
Now I understand
Everyone tells you how nice the people are and how stunning the environment is, but you don’t feel it until you’re living it.
Push that zone
Go out of your way to connect with as many people as possible! Don’t allow yourself to settle in your comfort zone, but continuously push yourself to keep getting to know more people and do more things.
Once in a lifetime
It truly felt like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get to hike in the Alps every week. I made strong friendships that I know will continue at Tufts and keep these wonderful memories alive.
Talloires is a special, quiet place where you can relax and study at the same time, something I haven’t found as easy in Boston. My experience here changed how I felt about schooling and living.
Take advantage of this time to brush up on your French, eat too much cheese, and slow down to the Talloires pace of life.
My new home
It is an amazing opportunity where I learned a lot about France and myself. I think it will be weird going back home, because Talloires has become my home.