Annika Smith, joint major in French and Global Affairs, won a SUNY Chancellor’s Award in spring 2023. During her time in RLL, she participated in French Club, collaborated with a professor on research about masks and masking practices in Côte d’Ivoire, and did an AmeriCorps internship as an English teacher with Journey’s End Refugee Services. She completed her French major while studying abroad in Lyon, France.
Annika, who received a Linda Rock Scholarship from RLL to aid with study abroad costs, made the most of her time in Lyon, practicing French regularly with both locals and her classmates, attending concerts and soccer matches, trying new cafés and restaurants and relaxing by the river. She also traveled throughout Europe during breaks and weekends, and notes that solo travel in particular “has allowed me to go out of my comfort zone and say ‘yes’ to experiences.”
Annika highly recommends adding an RLL major or minor: “Learning a language opens so many doors for travel, job opportunities, personal development, and for meeting new people.” And while her study abroad experience looms large, Annika’s time on campus was also enriched by RLL, whose faculty “care a lot about their students and want them to succeed,” and where it “is easy to form relationships with your classmates and professors.” Finally, the research skills Annika acquired in RLL also play into her future plans: she will be staying at UB to pursue an MS in International Development and Global Health, where her advanced language skills and intercultural competence are sure to come in handy!