I Am: A French-American

A range of academic interests, personal perspectives, and life experiences adds much to the educational mix. Given your personal background, describe an experience that illustrates what you would bring to the diversity in a college community, or an encounter that demonstrated the importance of diversity to you.


Had someone asked me my nationality four years ago, I would have said American.

My father, unlike many fathers, is a stereotypical French man. He emigrated to the U.S. three years before I was born, yet worked hard to retain his culture, the same culture I chose to reject. Americans seem to have a deep-seated animosity towards the French because of France’s refusal to aid them in the War in Iraq. America’s antagonistic attitude and the unpleasant stereotypes associated with the French, such as being rude and arrogant, made me suppress any trace of French culture around me. An entire half of who I am slowly disappeared and remained hidden until I was able to gain the wisdom that comes with perspective.

From the age of five, I’ve spent every summer in the tiny village of Brusque in the South of France. The most exciting thing to have ever happened there was a town celebration of their first ATM machine. During my first few summers there, I quickly picked up the language. My cousins and I would entertain ourselves by performing skits (in French), playing the organ for the elderly at Mass, and floating down the Dourdou River in “Le Petit Titanic”, a boat my uncle built. I initially loved the trips because of all the attention I...

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