This summer Murphy Scholar and French and History double-major Lily Ryall ’24 traveled to Québec, Canada, to learn more about Canadian French.
As a sophomore Ryall took Dr. Cathy Jellenik’s Francophone Fiction course, where she read “Pour Empêcher Un Mariage" by Gabrielle Roy. “This course introduced me to the vast Francophone world through literature from Senegal, Morocco, Haiti, Canada, and beyond. In reading Gabrielle Roy, I experienced the vast landscape of the Canadian countryside through the perspective of a young girl observing the politics of women’s independence. I knew then that I wanted to de-center France in my studies and focus my attention on the whole Francophone world, or la Francophonie.”
Inspired to learn more about Canadian French, Ryall used her Murphy Scholar travel funds to attend Bouchereau Lingua International (BIL) in Ville de Québec. After her mornings in the BIL classroom, Ryall would hop on her rented bike and visit various museums and historical sites, such as Musée National de Beaux-Arts du Québec and La Citadelle de Québec. She concluded her days tasting poutine and chômeur as she watched street performances or dipped into French Canadian folk music shows and French movie theatres.
Last summer Ryall traveled to France as part of Hendrix-in-Tours, an immersive program sponsored by the Hendrix-Murphy Foundation that supports students’ study of French language and culture in the Loire Valley of France. This summer’s international experience offered Ryall a new challenge: studying Québec’s distinctive French accent and culture while traveling solo.
“In Tours, I always had my Hendrix peers to fall back on if immersion ever became too overwhelming,” Ryall said. “But after having completed the Hendrix-in-Tours program and two more semesters of French courses at Hendrix, I wanted to challenge myself with an independent French immersion experience.”
“I am so grateful to the Murphy Foundation for valuing my curiosity about the Francophone world and my language studies,” Ryall says. “During my two-week stay in Québec Ville, I learned so much about culture, language, and myself that I could only discover through solo travel. I completed this Murphy project a better French speaker, student, traveler, and adult.”
Be on the lookout for more Murphy Scholar profiles this summer. Visit our website to learn more about the Murphy Scholars Program and study travel opportunities. Photos provided by Lily Ryall.