March 1, 2023
E. Catherine Barclay Scholarship Newsletter: Winter 2023
Dear Friends and Supporters of the E. Catherine Barclay Scholarship,
This is the second consecutive year that the ECB Scholarship has been awarded to not one but two exemplary students. We would like to extend our congratulations to this year’s recipients: Brooklyn Mori-Sanchez and Kirsten Young. Both students are currently entering their second semester of studies in France, in Tours and Marseille, respectively. This year is particularly exciting as this is the first year that one of our scholarship recipients has taken their experience to the south of France.
In July 2022, Kirsten and Brooklyn were celebrated at Alliance Française at the annual send-off reception. At the same time, we were thrilled to welcome back 2021 award recipients Victoria Lambrinoudis and Morgan Richardson. Victoria joined us in person to share vibrant stories from her ECB year, but Morgan was still in France, so she shared this inspiring video message. What a unique evening, where alumni, supporters, and new recipients shared their excitement for the year ahead, their experiences, and advice!
As both Kirsten and Brooklyn become more familiar with the French way of living and university life, we are delighted to bring you direct news from them:
“My name is Brooklyn Mori-Sanchez and I am in my third year in the French Studies program. Currently, I live in Tours, France. It is a small city located 1.5 hours south of Paris. Initially, I chose Tours because I hope to live in Paris indefinitely, and the location of Tours and the highly efficient SNCF system have helped me visit Paris once a month. However, after living in Tours for a semester and visiting other French cities and towns, Tours has its own charm and beauty that I have learned to appreciate. Being in France is surreal. Not only am I speaking French and making millions of beautiful mistakes every day that help my growth in the language, but I also have the opportunity to be surrounded by such a rich, artistic culture and people. Fashion and Cinema, my two biggest interests, began in France, so my creativity, passion, and knowledge in these areas have become stronger.
Every day, a new experience crosses me spontaneously. For example, I spent the holidays with my French family in the countryside. I discovered that Tours has a vast contemporary art scene, and I often venture to a different city for a weekend. But the most extravagant experience I had here was on October 1st, 2022 during Womenswear Fashion Week, and I saw Vivienne Westwood’s fashion show. Prior to attending this event, I had no expectations of who I would see and to my surprise, I saw one of my role models, Bella Hadid, and global superstar, Doja Cat. In addition, I had an opportunity to speak with an intern who worked at the show. Thanks to this spontaneous day, I grasped a more in-depth idea of my future.
Growing up, my plan was to live in France. Now being here, I wake up every morning with so much gratitude. In the summer of 2022, before I left for France, I said, “I hope to see a more elevated version of myself”. This has become clear as I’ve achieved a goal on my list and am currently living in this experience. Also, living alone for the first time without my family on a different continent has been instrumental in my growth. Without a doubt, the French and their lifestyle, which I have also adopted, have given me a fresh perspective on living independently and confidently.”
“My name is Kirsten Young, and I grew up on a little farm just outside of Wetaskiwin, Alberta. I am currently completing my second year of a five-year concurrent Bachelor of Elementary Education with a French major. My dream after graduation is to work for the organization Teachers Across Borders. I currently live in Marseille, France. I chose Aix-Marseille University for its proximity to the ocean and because it’s the highest-ranked university in France for its French Faculty.
Nice, France is not just "nice." It is amazing! Nice was my favorite day trip so far. Four of us girls spent an entire day in this colorful and lively city. Our itinerary included La Promenade des Anglais (a 7 km walk along the Mediterranean Coast), La Colline du Château, Le Vieux Port (one of the oldest functioning ports in southern France), and the Cathedral Sainte-Reparate. In the afternoon, I ventured into the sea and went on a snorkeling adventure that became a scuba-diving lesson when another girl backed out from being seasick. It was INCREDIBLE!! The water was very warm and filled with multicolored fish, baby jellyfish, and eels. I loved Nice so much that I will be returning there to celebrate Carnival with the locals.
Christmas looked very different this year, and it was not just because of the lack of snow and 14*C weather. I celebrated Christmas with 3 exchange friends at an Airbnb in Aix-en-Provence. It was an amazing experience to mix our 4 cultures and have such a fun celebration. The highlight of this holiday was trying a German dessert called Herrencreme.”
We are sure you share our enthusiasm as we wish Kirsten and Brooklyn an incredible second semester and many more unforgettable adventures in their respective corners of France!
With continued heartfelt thanks to each of you for your interest in and support of this growing, vibrant ECB community,
E. Catherine Barclay Scholarship Advisory Committee
Silvia Rossi (1991 recipient)
Andrea Jung (1993 recipient)
Paola Velasquez (2016 recipient)
About the E. Catherine Barclay Scholarship
Offered annually to an undergraduate student registered in any faculty at the University of Calgary wishing to pursue studies in France through an official exchange program, for two semesters. Award holders must select courses in which the language of instruction is French.
Fall/Winter minimum GPA and units: 3.2; 24
Donor: Friends of E.C. Barclay
Value: $ 7,500
Apply to the French Centre by March 30.
Have a question?
Program Coordinator - French Centre