Meet our intern from France!
Tell us about yourself and your family.
My name is Berangere Curnier, I am 22 years old and I am from Puymeras, just south of France. I have two little brothers, one is 19 years old and the other one is 18 years old. My youngest brother is originally from Haiti; my parents adopted him when he was only five years old. I also have an older sister who is 27 years old that just moved back to France after living in Mexico for seven years. My dad is an environmental inspector and my mom is his assistant.
What made you decide to study abroad in Lubbock as a high school student? Tell us about that experience.
As a child I had always wanted to travel the world, to discover all the different places, cultures and people, so when I turned 15 years old I decided I wanted to go to United States for a year and experience the “American” way of life. My parents weren’t too fond of the idea at first, but then they heard about the Rotary Youth Exchange program they decided to let me be a part of the program.
I ended up in Lubbock, TX not by choice, but because of my Rotary Club. When I found out I was going to Texas I was very surprised and not too excited because as a 15 year old girl from France, that is not what I imagined when I thought of America. When thinking of America the following places came to mind: Miami, Los Angeles, New-York and all of those bigger cities, but now that I have experienced the Texan way of life, I am so glad I came to Lubbock. To prove that, I have now been back to Lubbock three times since then and I plan on moving here in about a year and a half or so. Studying abroad in Lubbock was definitely the best experience of my life.
Leaving my country and my family for a whole year at the age of 16 was not easy, especially since I didn’t know any English, but I was welcomed by a great Rotary Club, a fantastic high school (Coronado) and two amazing host families. Thanks to them, I traveled a lot around Texas, New Mexico, Louisiana, Oklahoma and many other states too.
Lubbock is a very welcoming city and it felt like home when I was leaving here. It is not the most beautiful city in the world or even in the state of Texas, but it has something special that is hard to explain.
What college do you currently attend and what is your major?
I attend a school in Marseille which is the second largest city in France and it is about an hour and a half away from my home. My major is Tourism and I find it very interesting.
What made you decide to come back to Lubbock for your internship?
For me to graduate in May of next year, I have to do a research paper. Last year I did a two month internship at the Visitor Center in Marseille and I really wanted to do my paper on “How to attract French people to Lubbock, TX” so I thought why not intern in Lubbock, that would make it easier to write about it. My goal is to promote the destination in France where Texas is not a very well-known destination. At the time of my high school exchange year, Eddie McBride, was the president of the Rotary Club which helped me to get an internship here.
When do you graduate and what do you plan to do after graduation?
I will graduate in May 2017 and my boyfriend and I are planning on moving to Lubbock. We will either get our Masters at Texas Tech University or we will both find jobs in here.