L’Opportunité Parisienne

Hello! My name is Charles Wolf and I’m currently a rising senior student at the University of Pittsburgh. I am majoring in both French and Spanish and have been studying languages since middle school. Learning languages is both a passion of mine, and is fortunately a field in which I can pursue further for professional opportunities. Languages have always seemed to interest me and being able to explore them further is amazing, especially with the wonderful language departments here at Pitt. It was always my plan to study abroad in both of these languages, so while looking at the many options available to me, I found the IIP. With my degree, I plan on working towards a masters in translation or interpretation, preferably attending a European university. When it comes to translating and interpreting, knowing the language and having experience translating are invaluable, and so when the option of an internship in Paris was available to me, I knew I had to jump on the opportunity. I had considered applying for the Madrid location, but my spanish language skills need some improvement before I’m able to fully utilize them in that regard. Being able to get any experience in this field though is a wonderful chance that I’m very grateful to have.

My internship is at Les Coulisses du Chef, a French cooking class company run by Chef Olivier Berté. With my previous experience in a technical school for pastry arts, and the chance to help translate recipes and help interpret for clients, this internship is right up my alley for both personal and professional reasons. While I have little experience with the business aspects of Les Coulisses du Chef, I currently work in a kitchen and interact daily with customers. I’ve also taught classes a few times during my time at a summer camp, so being able to help with clients and easily explain things will be of little issue for me. I have already come up with a few ideas and suggestions for Mr. Berté so I can come into everything prepared. I start with Chef Berté on May 30th and I’m so excited to dive into this internship!

Since I have already completed the credits for my French degree, an actual study abroad would have been of no academic use to me, at least for undergrad. The IIP program is listed as a business course, in which for 2 months I’ll be immersed in French culture and language, improving the skills needed to continue my language acquisition, working directly to improve the business. These credits will count towards a certificate in Western European studies. The IIP is also incredibly influential when it comes to a candidature, as international internships are quite rare. Before the internship and my arrival, I have been feeling incredibly nervous about coming to Paris, mostly due to the language barrier. The only way to overcome this nervousness and anxiety is to simply keep speaking. As long as I’m able to do that I’ll gradually get more and more comfortable with the French language. I’ve traveled to Paris once before and encountered similar issues, but as I’ve gained more experience with Pitt, I’m proud to say I’m sure I can do it. Experiencing another country like this is so amazing and between my internship and all of the plans I have to experience the country, my schedule is going to be full of fun! Enchanté Paris!