Name: Thomas Maxwell
Majors: French and Spanish
Anticipated Year of Graduation: 2018
Hometown: Greenwood, Ind.
Campus and Community Involvement: Intercultural Honors Experience
What about Franklin College was most appealing to you when you were making your college choice?
“The atmosphere of the campus really appealed to me. The welcoming environment provided by the faculty and staff really motivated my decision, but I went with my gut feeling which told me that Franklin College was the right place for me in the end.”
What has been your most rewarding Franklin experience?
“So far it has been spending the academic year of 2015-16 in France, which led to a new understanding of different languages, cultures and people. Also, it has provided me an opportunity to grow and undergo a life-changing personal transformation that I wouldn’t trade for the world.”
Do you feel your Franklin education has given you an edge compared to students attending other colleges?
“Absolutely. The ease with which I was able to travel abroad has given me the experience that most college graduates will never have. The acquisition of French and Spanish, attained through my travels and studies, certainly provides an edge over others.”
How have your experiences from studying abroad impacted you academically?
“I spent the 2015-16 academic year in France, which allowed me to travel to neighboring countries such as the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Ireland and Switzerland, just to name a few. I spent the summer of 2016 in Marbella, Spain, and have been accepted to spend the spring semester of 2017 in Argentina. Academically speaking, studying abroad has provided me with the incredible opportunity to immerse myself in both French and Spanish as well as providing a new, diverse and profound cultural understanding of France and Spain. Studying abroad changes an individual in some of the most subtle and indescribable ways. The changes are similar to an iceberg. The people around you can see the surface changes such as maturity that undoubtedly accompanies being independent and living alone in a foreign country. However, it is what’s hidden underneath the surface that counts the most.”
What at Franklin has surprised you the most?
“I would say how incredible the professors are and how willing they are to help me with just about anything that might come up, whether I am on campus or 4,000 miles away studying abroad in Europe.
Why did you choose to study French?
“I decided to study French because when I first started learning the language in high school, I realized that I had a knack for it and became very passionate for it as well. My love for the language only grew when I studied abroad in France with a host family for a summer before starting at Franklin. My love of languages continued as I started my first year of college and realized that my professors, especially assistant professor of modern languages Kristin Wasielewski, shared my passion for French! I come from a long line of educators ranging from high school teachers to university professors, and for many years now it has been my ambition to follow in their footsteps. This is why I want to eventually obtain a doctorate degree in historical linguistics with a specific interest in the romance languages so that I can become a university-level professor.
Do you look up to someone specific on campus?
“Without a doubt, I would say that I look up to assistant professor of modern languages Kristin Wasielewski because of how amazing she is. Anyone can earn the title of ‘amazing’ but when it comes to being one of her students, she never forgets one of her ‘frenchies’ even when they are studying abroad halfway around the world. She makes a point to check in every now and then to just make sure her students are doing okay. I not only love my classes with her, but I love her too. She is so passionate for the subject she teaches and is eager to share that passion with her students in the classroom or during office hours. She is truly an inspirational and compassionate person and amazing in every sense of the word! I am proud to have her not only as my French professor but also someone I look up to.”
For more information about what a degree from Franklin College can do for you, contact the Office of Admissions at (800) 852-0232.