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Katie Starr ’11 Gains Insight Into French Local Government System

Katie Starr ‘11 spent her summer learning about local government as an intern in the office of the mayor of Change, France. The mayor’s office was located in the town hall, an institution that functions as the most decentralized form of government for French citizens.

“The differences between the French local government and American local government became apparent to me very quickly,” Starr says of her experience. “This internship provided me with a unique look into the French government system, and its role in French culture and society.”

During her internship, Starr assisted with the coordination of Change’s Festival of Music, a national day of musical performances celebrated by each French town throughout the country on the same date. She also worked with elected officials translating texts from French to English.

“In addition to gaining an understanding of French government, I was able to excel in my French language proficiency throughout the summer,” says Starr. She believed the language was one of the most engaging aspects of her experience. “Functioning only in French in a professional setting for two months was extremely challenging, but has given me a set of skills that I can now build on.”

Starr’s internship was funded, in part, by a Park Enrichment Grant. Park Enrichment Grants provide support for Park Scholars to help finance professional and personal enrichment experiences designed to foster the development of scholarship, service, leadership, and character, as well as connect Scholars with faculty.

Originally from Grove City, Ohio, Starr is majoring in international studies and French, with a minor in Middle East studies. After she graduates this spring, Starr plans to work abroad for a non-governmental organization and further pursue her interests in foreign language by studying Arabic.
~posted 2010.08.19