Three W&L students Awarded Positions in the Teaching Assistant Program in France Three members of the Class of 2022 will spend seven months in the Teaching Assistant Program in France (TAPIF) teaching English to public school.
Washington and Lee University seniors MacKenzie Van Meter ’22, Alexy Alin-Hvidsten ’22 and Everett Heebe ’22 have been awarded positions in the Teaching Assistant Program in France (TAPIF). The program offers recent college graduates the opportunity to live in France or in overseas departments of France, such as French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Réunion, for seven months. TAPIF recipients teach English to French public school students while improving their French language skills and fully immersing themselves in French culture and society. All three will begin their programs in October 2022 and spend seven months in their positions.
“I have been studying French language since I was 12 years old, and I have wanted to live in France since even before that time. Participating in TAPIF truly fulfills a childhood dream for me,” Van Meter said. “I am beyond elated to have the chance to sharpen my French language skills, but also to garner a greater understanding of what it means to truly immerse oneself in another country’s culture and daily practices. I know I will have a wonderful time meeting new people and exploring new places.”
Van Meter attended Memorial High School in Houston, Texas, and is double-majoring in French and philosophy. She will be teaching English to middle and high school students in Versailles.
“MacKenzie will embrace the adventure of living in another culture with the same zeal and confidence she has demonstrated throughout her college experience, knowing that this is the individual path she has chosen to forge and intent on making the most of the opportunity before her,” said Kristina Roney, visiting assistant professor of French.
Everett Heebe, a French major and studio art minor, was thrilled to receive her placement in the Aix-en-Provence region of France, where she will be teaching English to primary school students at multiple schools. Heebe is from New Orleans and graduated from Metairie Park Country Day School.
“I have learned a lot about the region, and I also know there is a deep appreciation for the arts in Aix-en-Provence, which is the other area of my main interests and studies,” Heebe said. “I knew I could not pass up this opportunity, and I cannot wait to feel more confident in my French language skills and to help teach young students the same appreciation I have for other languages and cultures.”
Heebe was admitted to the Institute for American Universities in Aix-en-Provence for its summer 2020 program. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, however, she was forced to complete the program through distance learning. Her dedication to the experience of living and working abroad led her to apply to the TAPIF program.
“I know Everett will benefit tremendously from an integrated experience in the country and will prove an asset to those learning from and working with her,” Roney said.
Alexy Alin-Hvidsten, a business and Romance languages double-major, completed a three-week summer intensive course at the London School of Economics in strategic management in 2019. He will spend seven months in his position teaching in the city of Poitiers.
“Like MacKenzie and Everett, Alexy has been a fixture of our French and Italian programs these past few years, and it is difficult to imagine courses without him. He has an incredible passion and curiosity for the Romance languages, and it shows in every aspect. His French is beautiful, and he is learning to speak Italian at lightning speed,” said Stephen McCormick, associate professor of French. “I will miss reading his final papers and hearing his presentations. I always learned something new from them, and I always thought what a great teacher Alexy would be.”
Each year, more than 1,500 American citizens and permanent residents teach in public schools participating in the TAPIF program, which is managed by France Éducation International. The American cohort is part of the larger Assistants de langue en France program, which recruits approximately 4,500 young educators from 60 countries to teach 15 languages annually in France.
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