Mandara Nott

Mandara Nott, UAF graduate

Theater Major with French minor, 2006

Currently in Portland, Oregon
From Nenana, Alaska

“I took French with Dr. Matusevich at UAF. Dr. Matusevich encouraged us all to go abroad to improve our language skills and provided us with several options. With Dr. Matusevich’s assistance I chose to go to France during the 2007-2008 academic year to work for the French government through the teaching assistant program. For a bush kid from Alaska, heading to France was definitely an adventure and I am thankful to the French program for offering it to me. I was assigned to Lycée Jean Moulin, a shared-campus lycée général and lycée professionnel in Béziers, France. The teaching staff was welcoming and supportive, and I am still in touch with many of them. Complete immersion was a challenge, especially at first, but I brought a foundational understanding which allowed me to spend my time honing my skills rather than simply navigating my day. I met forever friends of all different nationalities with whom I traveled far and wide most weekends and holidays, gaining new perspectives on cuisine and culture.

Years later, my French skills are still strong and proving very useful. Now I am learning another Romance language, Spanish, which will help me further with for professional development at my job. The encouragement and instruction of Dr. Matusevich did and still does mean a great deal to me. I hope the French program thrives!”