Jamesville-DeWitt High School French teacher, Madame Amankwah, traveled to Belgium this summer for three weeks. She received a scholarship to study abroad at the University of Liege located in Wallonia, Belgium. This major public university is ranked 7th nationally in Belgium, and its official language is French. It attracts students along with many renowned scientists and philosophers to study on its campus. Due to the university’s reputation, the city is nicknamed “New Athens.”
At the University of Liege, Mme. Amankwah became a student again. She said, “I embraced it. I took my studies. I was like a student and I made sure I went to class on time. Most of the time I was the first student because I was just so excited to learn.” She took French intensive courses along with cultural courses which enriched her knowledge of both the French language and the Belgian culture. To add to her experience she spoke French the entire time she was there, resorting to English only rarely.
Mme. Amankwah loves to learn and enjoys being in an academic environment. While in Wallonia, she made sure to embrace the culture and everything Belgium had to offer. She ate some of Belgium’s famous foods. The two she remembers most were the fries and the waffles. Belgians take immense pride in their waffles and fries, and their distinctive cuisine is known all over the world. Popular waffles in Belgium include the Brussels waffle and the Liege waffle. Liege waffles are richer, denser, sweeter, and chewier. The fries in Belgium are traditionally dipped in mayonnaise which may seem odd to American tastes. Mme. Amankwah visited different cities and took pictures whenever she could to fully gather the beauty of Belgium and everything it had to offer.
As a dedicated professional educator, Mme. Amankwah’s primary advice was about learning. She said, “Learning is not just for you, the young people. I have been learning and teaching a long time. Everyone should take advantage of opportunities like that.” She emphasized the fact that anyone can and should take all opportunities to learn and to develop themselves as people. Amankwah stated, “There are so many opportunities out there and everyone should take advantage of them.”