Profile Picture

Erin Koning

Honours English - Literature

Class of 2014

While I was planning to study for a semester at the Sorbonne, the University of Paris in France, I was very nervous. I had never done anything like this before, but it turned out to be the opportunity of a lifetime.

This off-campus study program was organized by Redeemer, and I went with seven other Redeemer students; there are also hundreds of students from around the world doing the same thing. Besides the daily work in French grammar, phonetics and language, I took courses in French Cinema, Art History and one I really enjoyed, French Poetry and Song. I’m a double major in French and English and love poetry in both languages. There’s a strong connection between the two, especially in Canadian literature, and being able to read a poem in its original language helps to understand its subtle nuances.

But there was so much that I learned outside the classroom as well. For example, Federica, my roommate from Rome, didn’t speak English and I didn’t speak Italian, so in order to communicate, we practiced conversational French every day.

And you can’t beat living in Paris in the springtime. I lived in the Latin Quarter, minutes from Notre Dame Cathedral, right in the heart of that great city. During breaks in the school year, we travelled across France and all around Europe.

University is a great time to branch out and try different things. Even though this adventure was so far out of my comfort zone, it ended up being one of the highlights of my Redeemer education.