Daniela Wilner



Argentina, graduated in 2015 with BA in French and BS in Biology

I originally came to UAF in 2009, planning on majoring in either Biology or Art, but after taking a few French classes, I decided to switch from Art to French and pursue a double degree: a B.S. in Biology and a B.A. in French. I felt I was learning so much in my French classes, and Dr. Yelena Matusevich informed me about so many great opportunities that would be available to me with a French degree, that the decision was easy, and in retrospect I can gladly say it was the right one. I took many wonderful classes (French 201, 202, 493, 301, 302, and 431 —the latter, I took twice with different content), thanks to which I greatly improved my French language skills and learned a great deal about french culture and history. I also had access to several scholarships thanks to my French studies, and finally, in Spring 2014, I was able to go on exchange and study at Sciences Po in Rennes, France! Living and studying abroad had been a dream of mine since my early teenage years, and it turned out to be everything I had hoped for. It is an amazing, mind opening experience, a challenge and an adventure, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Not only did I greatly improve my French, especially my speaking and comprehension skills, I also learned about France and the world, met an amazing and diverse group of people, and made lifelong friends from around the world. I loved living in France, the language, the culture, the place, the people. Now, as a UAF graduate with a double degree, I may end up going back for graduate studies in Biology. I graduated from UAF as an Honors student with a double degree in French and Biology, and by the time I left Alaska in 2015, I had the two degrees, a great education, a trip to Europe, and teaching experience under my belt. I couldn’t have done any of it without Prof. Matusevich, her hard work, and her desire to help her students and see them succeed. Her teaching, mentorship, and support were instrumental both in me getting to study abroad and in my timely graduation, as well as in many career and education opportunities I had access to thereafter.