We love our members! In fact, we love them so much that we want you to get to know them and share in our community. In this Member Spotlight series the French Cultural Center introduces you to a member via our blog. This edition we are featuring John Strachan, a member who visited the Center with his school years ago and came back during the pandemic. Read on to learn more about John...


What is your connection to the French language and/or francophone culture?

France was the first foreign country I knew about. When I was four, my parents went on vacation to Paris which sparked my interest in France. I studied French in school for several years but stopped when I began college.

A few years ago, I got a job in Morocco and had to relearn French. I took classes at the local Institut Français and befriended French speakers from Morocco, France, and other francophone countries in Africa. I realized that there was a French-speaking world to discover!

After living in Morocco for three years, I got a job at the University of Orléans and fulfilled a childhood dream to live in France.

"The conversation group and other cultural events have been a lifeline throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. "

Why did you decide to become a member of the French Cultural Center?

I became a member in Fall 2020. I was looking for an opportunity to continue my journey with the French language and remembered visiting the French Cultural Center during a school field trip when I was in high school. I was happy for the opportunity to meet other French speakers and attend interesting events.

What do you like about being a member at the Center? Do you have any favorite classes or events that you have participated in?

I enjoy all of the events that the Center offers. The conversation group and other cultural events have been a lifeline throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. I have also enjoyed the walking tours en français around Boston. In addition, I am looking forward to utilizing the French language resources in the Center’s Médiathèque. Finally, I enjoy meeting people from diverse backgrounds who are interested in the French language. The French Cultural Center is a wonderful way to be involved in Boston’s francophone community.

If you could travel to any Francophone country, what would it be and why?

I am planning to travel to West Africa this summer and hope to visit Togo and Côte d’Ivoire. I have been fascinated by this region of Africa since I lived in Morocco. It will be interesting to hear how French is used in these countries. Every Togolese and Ivorian I have met has been kind and it will be a privilege to visit their home countries.

Interested in sharing your story or becoming a member?

Email us!

Check out our other member profiles here.

Natalie Collet

Former Membership Manager

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!

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