Thursday, January 29, 2015

Experience at GlobalPittsburgh Helps Former Intern Colette Tano as English Teaching Assistant in France

By Colette Tano

Every morning I wake up to the sound of French high school students walking to class right outside my window. Talking, laughing, shouting, their voices are my alarm clock and, while it might not be the most peaceful way to wake up and start the day, it is a sound that reminds me of how grateful and excited I am to have been given the chance to teach abroad for a year.

Colette Tano in
Besancon, France, where
she is teaching English
to French students.
I graduated from Carnegie Mellon in the spring of 2014 with a B.A. in French and Francophone studies, an additional major in Ethics, History & Public Policy, and most importantly an idea of how I wanted to use my life to change the world.

Working at GlobalPittsburgh allowed me to polish the professional skills that I am now using on a daily basis working as an English assistant in France.

Currently, I am living in Besancon, France, a city of about 100,000 people and I work with French students between the ages of 12 and 19.  Adjusting to life in France and working in a completely different language have definitely been demanding, but I am learning so much about myself and the world around me that I find that the challenges are worth it and even welcome.

As a member of the GlobalPittsburgh team, I worked as an intern on the Study Pittsburgh and Marketing programs. Most of our projects included conducting research on attracting international students to the universities in the Pittsburgh region. My coworker and I often worked with social media to promote studying in Pittsburgh. We also reached out to other local non-profit organizations with similar goals, and we created informational brochures and flyers that were available for international visitors and students at one of the First Thursdays networking events.

Ultimately, I would like to work in public policy research and international development in order to change the inequalities that exist in education.  I know it is an ambitious goal but equal access to education is a goal that I would spend my life on.

Education is the foundation on which the people who live in our global community are able to build interactions with each other and with the institutions that govern and regulate our lives.  It should be a guaranteed right that all people have access to an exceptional education which should theoretically level the playing field and help to diminish social inequality and injustice.

Teaching English in France has done a tremendous job of strengthening my determination to follow through on my goals, and working as an intern at GlobalPittsburgh was an experience that allowed me to learn more about the marketing and networking aspects of education.

(Colette Tano served as an intern at GlobalPittsburgh in Summer 2014.)

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