"What I like most about the Center is that everyone who attends events or classes has a similar passion for the language and culture, and it's invigorating to be surrounded by so many like-minded people!"
What is your connection to the French language and/or francophone culture?I'm a quarter French by way of my father. My great grandfather met my great grandmother on the ship the Normandie in the 1920s. He was on his way over to play cello for the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and ultimately settled in Brookline. My grandfather and great-aunt grew up speaking French at home, but sadly my grandfather did not pass on his language skills to my father and his siblings. He did pass along a love of the food and wine though! I felt a very strong connection to that part of my heritage as a teenager, and was determined to do a year abroad in college. I started studying French in middle school at the age of 13 and never looked back. My parents fostered this curiosity and interest by sending me to Bordeaux for a few weeks every summer when I was in high school to spend time with a family we had met while doing a hospitality exchange, and that experience really helped to solidify my interest in the language and culture. These experiences resulted in my desire to major in French in college, where I finally got to spend a year abroad in Lyon. After college I worked in the travel industry for almost a decade and occasionally traveled to France with my clients. Currently, I'm using French on a daily basis while helping to make (the Amazon) Alexa smarter.
Why did you decide to become a member of the French Cultural Center?I went to college in Washington, DC and lived there for several years afterwards. While there, I had access to a great community of French speakers and was looking for a similar community when I moved back to Boston. I had heard of the Center when I was in high school (I grew up on the South Shore), but had never done any research. Once I was back in Boston I wanted to make sure I was able to stay in touch with that very important part of my heritage and also spend time with like-minded people, so the FCC was the perfect option for just that!
What do you like about being a member at the Center? Do you have any favorite classes or events that you have participated in?As someone who worked in the travel industry for almost a decade, I have loved being a part of the French Cultural Center Travel Club. I also really enjoy the art talks that the Center puts on, and anything that involves wine!! What I like most about the Center is that everyone who attends events or classes has a similar passion for the language and culture, and it's invigorating to be surrounded by so many like-minded people!
If you could travel to any Francophone country, what would it be and why?I would have to say France, partly due to my heritage, but also because I've spent so much time there, visiting all corners of the country. Every time I go back, I discover something new, and at the same time feel as if I've come home to something familiar and inviting.
Interested in sharing your story or becoming a member?Contact our Membership Manager, Natalie Collet, at email@example.com or call (617) 912-0400.
Check out our other member profiles here.
From the Midwest, Natalie is a Francophile at heart. Her interest in French started when studying ballet and the language and culture entranced her through her student years. She became involved with the - Alliance - in the suburbs of Chicago after she spent an unforgettable year teaching English in a French high school near Bordeaux. She is happy to join the team in Boston and work with the members to provide them with unique opportunities, quality programming, and a community through French!