Reflection by Lake Rucker

When I first moved to France there were a lot of obstacles I had to overcome, one of those being the language barrier. I would tell future students in the program to practice your French before you arrive because it enhances the overall cultural experience. I would advise future students to take risks because sometimes going out of your comfort zone leads to the best surprises. Traveling to neighboring countries, eating great food, and making friends with the locals is the perfect way to immerse yourself in the country. In my future career I plan on traveling and visiting countries across the world, and this study abroad experience allowed me to develop my work as an artist. Studying at the Marchutz school of art challenged me to paint a new painting every day and in a short amount of time. The frequency of painting improved my painting skills and my work grew significantly in one semester. Before I left, my goal was to create a new style of expressionistic landscapes, figures, and still life. My professors and classmates nurtured the passion I have for painting, and I believe this helped me achieve my goals. My identity didn’t change in a significant way because I already know who I am. I love to travel, eat great food, and learn about new cultures and this experience brought more of that to light. In the future, I want to intern and work abroad. If I’m fortunate enough, I want to create artwork in France for at least two months out of the year when I graduate college.  In those two months out of the year, I will create multiple paintings and continue to develop my work.  Overall, France is a place I definitely want to live in again and work on my artwork. 

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