Drew Shaeffer of Virginia Beach will take her French-speaking talents to Quebec from July to Aug., made possible by her earning a Pi Delta Phi National French Honors Society Mary E. Gutermuth Award.

The Ball State University sophomore prevailed over a dozen other applicants from Pi Delta Phi chapters across the country.

Shaeffer, a marketing and French double major with a linguistics minor in the Honors College, has studied French since middle school. She attended high school at the International Baccalaureate Program at Princess Anne.

“Just by knowing one foreign language, a world of opportunities open, to travel, to teach, and to communicate,” she said. “My journey begins at Chicoutimi.”

The scholarship will allow Shaeffer to study for five weeks from July 1 to Aug. 1 within The School of French Language and Quebec Culture at the University of Quebec at Chicoutimi. She’s the first Ball State University student to apply for and win this particular award.

In addition to learning grammar, speaking techniques, culture, and the colloquialisms of Quebecois French, Shaeffer also excitedly awaits the chance to live with her host family, explore the city, and build lifelong friendships with classmates from around the world.

“I hope to use French as a baseline to continue adding languages to my repertoire and at the very least, continue travelling and building a multicultural, open-minded approach that I believe is imperative for any career,” she said.

The honors student stood out among other applicants not only because she wrote her entire application essay in French instead of English, but she’s also the president of Alpha Mu Gamma, the national foreign language honors society, where she organizes and creates various annual events to promote multiculturalism in Muncie. And, she’s the chancellor of Delta Sigma Pi, a professional business fraternity.

“I’m so thankful for the Ball State faculty who motivated me to pursue this award and who continue to deepen my love of French with their own passions,” Shaeffer said. “My education here has exposed me to valuable information about French literature, language, history, and business that I’ll take with me wherever I go.”

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