Dania Haidar is a student from Université François Rabelais in Tours, France. She is currently living in the United States as a student at Bucknell University and is a TA for Professor Westbrooks’s 104 level French classes. She hopes to become fluent in English so that she can teach American Literature at a college level.
Where are you from?
Okay, that is kind of a complicated question. I was born in France in tours. I am Lebanese and Tunisian. I have three nationalities.
Why did you decide to come to the United States?
I’m an English major and I want to specialize in American literature.
How is university life different in France as opposed to the United States?
First of all you choose the classes that you want to take. Uh the teachers are I guess friendlier, you can to talk to them in a much more casual way. And the grading system is totally different.
Are there any similarities?
What is similar? Wow. I’m thinking cause to me it’s really different. Um I guess we still have a lot of research to do, yeah. And its still um strict like for the assignments, yeah.
Tell me about growing up in France.
Um wow. I lived seven years in Lebanon before I came back to France. Growing up in France helped me have another vision of the world, but at the same time it had me face some problems like xenophobia or racism. But it also brought like, cause I have different cultures, it like, I guess it brings something that like other people don’t have.
When did you start learning English?
I was 10.
Are there any American customs that you find strange?
That I find strange? No, I don’t think so.
What do you like about the United States?
Um there are always so many options on campus so you cant get bored, you always have something to do and you have access to a lot of different things and you lack that back in France.
Is it difficult to speak English with other American students?
It’s okay, I’ve never had problems with languages usually because I started learning English when I was 10. I guess I’m okay.
What is your major?
Why are you interested in that major?
Um, I want to teach American Literature at a university level.