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Q&A with EF Alumni, Delane Botte

In 2016, EF International Language Centers entered into a partnership with The National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS) to provide students the opportunity to immerse themselves in a new language and culture.

The mission of the National Society of High School Scholars is “to recognize academic excellence among high-achieving students, deliver to them value and opportunity through membership, and inspire them to realize their potential.”

Since NSHSS and EF’s missions go so well together, EF is proud to announce a 2017 scholarship for members of NSHSS to attend one of our 11 language immersion schools abroad. Learn more about NSHSS and the scholarship by visiting www.nshss.org and www.ef.edu/nshss.

Last year, Delane Botte won the scholarship and was able to attend a French immersion course at EF Nice. We sat down with her to talk about her experience!

Can you tell us about NSHSS and its mission?

NSHSS helps students explore their intellectual abilities. Members have shown certain academic qualities and NSHSS gives access to opportunities, like travel, which I really like. I’ve applied to a couple of scholarships and plan on doing more.

What was your favorite memory from the trip?

Picking one would be hard because it was such a new experience. Meeting people from around the world made it such an incredible experience – it made the trip for me. I learned a lot about other cultures and countries through my classmates, who came from all over the world to study in France.

I visited a town called Eze – one of those picturesque French towns! The food was amazing, the hills were beautiful, it was unreal… quintessential Europe. Eze is an hour up in the mountains and we had to take several buses, but it was so worth it.

On my last night, I hung out with friends and went swimming in the French Riviera – not a lot of people can say they had that opportunity!

How would you describe your course with EF to someone who has never participated in one before?

School takes place five days a week with classes in the morning or afternoon. Sometimes I would have homework but not too much. EF wants you to enjoy the country and practice the language out in the city. The classes were diverse and featured different teaching styles. If you are caught speaking English to a friend in between classes, the staff yells will remind you to speak in French.

How well did you improve during your time with EF?

Immersion is the best way to learn. I feel like I learned a year’s worth of high school French in 2 weeks. I was able to ask for things and understand what people were saying which was pretty incredible because when I arrived I could only say “bonjour”.

Do you think knowing a second language is important for people these days? Why do you want to learn French?

It’s incredible! Learning a language increases cognitive ability… it scientifically helps you learn. Plus, you never know when it will come in handy. Knowing another language can help you when traveling or make you more competitive when applying for a job.

I wanted to give French a try because I didn’t know anything about it. I was curious and wanted to explore something new.

Did this scholarship open doors for you in preparing for college and your future?

Absolutely, traveling abroad changed my life and provided an advantage when applying. College is extremely competitive. Besides having a good GPA, not many people can say they went to Europe by themselves on a scholarship. I feel like I understand the world much better than I did before. The way we relate to each other and the ways we don’t. Being worldly is an advantage in everything! I can see myself working in international relations or journalism some day.

Do you have advice for NSHSS members thinking about doing a course with EF?

Absolutely do it! There is no reason not to take a language course with EF. If you are afraid it is going to be hard, do it anyway. Get outside of your comfort zone because it will help you learn about yourself and others. I promise, there will always be a group of people there to support you including EF staff, teachers, and other students.

There is not a single disadvantage. I strongly believing in traveling and this scholarship meant a lot to me. I had never left US before EF gave me the chance. I am so fortunate to have lived abroad by myself in Europe, it has changed my life!

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