My name is John Killeen. I graduated from my degree in French and Music, and I feel that my choice to study at Maynooth University, and to study French in particular, has had a profound and extremely positive influence on who I am and what I have had the opportunity to do. I was passionate about French throughout my time at school, and knew that I wanted to further pursue my study of French, in a setting which would challenge and engage me. After reading about the structure of the course at Maynooth, about its multi-dimensional approach, focusing on literature, Francophone culture and society as well as linguistic competence (which was further enhanced by an active French society within the university), it became clear to me that Maynooth was such a place.
Throughout my three years of French study at Maynooth, I felt constantly challenged: challenged to improve my language skills and my analytical skills; challenged to see things from a different perspective, a global perspective; challenged to apply myself to a demanding and rewarding academic programme. Through all of this challenge I was supported by the dedicated and excellent lecturers and tutors within the department and spurred on by a diverse and engaging programme of study.
One of the highlights of the course for me was the opportunity, in my final year, to write a dissertation on a topic of my choice. Working closely with a lecturer from the department, who acted as my supervisor, was an academically enriching experience, and I am proud of the piece of work I produced through this process. Another highlight was, of course, the year I spent living and working in France after my second year at Maynooth, during which time I immersed myself in the French language and culture and made lifelong friends from all parts of the world.
My degree at Maynooth opened up many opportunities for work and for further study. I have decided to pursue a career in language teaching, and am now happily living and studying for a P.G.C.E. at the University of East Anglia. I am extremely thankful to Maynooth for providing me with an education, a curiosity, and a love of language and culture which I will carry with me for life.