Crepes, and Coffee, and Baguettes. Oh My!


Bonjour, my name is Abbie Siecinski! I am a rising junior majoring in Business and Politics/Philosophy, pursing the certificate in Leadership and Ethics, and completing a minor in French. I am from Connellsville, PA and I am beyond excited to be going to Nantes, France this summer.

I grew up in a very small town in south west Pennsylvania and I have always dreamed of traveling. When I was 12 years old my Mom and I visited NYC for the first time and I was enthralled by all the sights, sounds, and people of the city. Since then, I have never said no to an opportunity to visit a new city. I fell in love with the French culture in particularly at a young age after being exposed to things, such as, the book “The Petite Prince”, the movies “Eloise at the Plaza” and “Amelié,” and all the delicious foods that come from France (macaroons, baguettes, and crepes!). However, I didn’t have the opportunity to study French until college. My high school did not have a French language program, so I took Spanish. Then my first semester at Pitt I decided to take French 1 and immediately fell in love with the language and the French department. I immediately knew I wanted to pursue a French minor. Throughout my two years as an undergraduate student I have had a lot of uncertainty in regard to my major and what I thought I wanted to do. However, through all of the stress and uncertainty I always knew I wanted to pursue a minor in French and it was comforting to have that constant every semester.

Outside of academics I enjoy reading, rock-climbing, running, theater, baking, and exploring Pittsburgh with my roommates. I especially love to go to the Manor Theater in Squirrel Hill! It is the cutest theater and always has the coolest movies. I also enjoy supporting the Pitt theater department and all their shows. I have many friends involved in theater and they always blow me away. Finally, when I really want to relax I’ll go for a run and listen to one of my favorite podcasts or find some good trees and set up my hammock for an afternoon of reading.

My dream career is to work as a federal judge. I plan to take a year off under my undergraduate year to teach English in a French speaking country. Then, I plan on attending law school. I am not sure what kind of law I am interested in studying, but I know I am passionate about helping other people. This year I began volunteering with America Reads Challenge, which is a program that is meant to help k-3rdgrade students become comfortable with their reading abilities and develop a love of learning. Teaching my students have both challenged me and been a source of joy and satisfaction. They reminded me how much I love reading and how fulfilling it is to give your time to help others. This experience has really solidified my decision to pursue law school, because I want to spend the rest of my life helping other people.

I chose the program Pitt in Nantes because of the homestay and the language intensive aspect. I have numerous older cousins who have studied abroad and many of them stayed with a host family. They absolutely loved their experiences and many of them are still in touch with their host families. From hearing their stories, I knew when I decided to study abroad I needed to do a program that involved a homestay. The other aspect of this program that excites me is the opportunity to be fully immersed in the French language and culture. I am both deathly nervous and beyond excited to be living in a city where the main form of communication is not my first language. I want to push myself outside of my comfort zone and prove to myself that I can thrive in a new city surrounded by a new language.