What Students Really Say About Farmington
I like the small atmosphere. Here I’m a person and not just a number. Everyone knows you and they're all so friendly — both on campus and off.
Why did you choose to major in International & Global Studies?
Recently, my parents went to New York City and visited the U.S Embassy. They saw someone who spoke many different languages, and they said they thought, "This is what Allie should be doing." I’ve was in Elementary Education with a concentration in French so I decided to go into International Studies and learn many different languages. Maybe one day I’ll become an interpreter.
What languages are you learning?
I’ve been taking French for years and I’m in Spanish now. Hopefully, the next language will be German or Chinese.
Is learning new languages challenging?
It’s very, very challenging, but it’s a lot of fun learning. That’s what I really like about it. Learning Spanish, just starting from the beginning, has really opened up so much more for me.
Are there a lot of similarities between French and Spanish?
They are similar. I think French is a little more complex than Spanish. But I've found so many similarities between English, French, and Spanish. And I bet if I learned another language, it would be just as similar.
How difficult was it to change your major?
It’s not too bad. It’s just a lot of paperwork, getting me into the program, and getting a new advisor to take me under their wing and get me on the right track toward graduating with an International Studies degree.
Will you have to stay in school longer because you switched your major?
Originally, I thought was going to, but if I take all of my core courses in the next year and a half, I can still graduate on time.
Were you interested in International & Global Studies before coming to Farmington?
No, I wanted to be a teacher through most of high school.
What sparked your interest in International & Global Studies?
My parents helped me make my final decision, but when I was taking different French courses my professors here were like, "I really can see you doing this." I would love to still be a teacher some day, but now, I can really see myself doing International Business and traveling and speaking different languages.
Can you describe International Business?
You have to pick a certain field to focus on, like Business Economics, Geography or History, and there’s a foreign language requirement. You have to take so many core courses in order to have a concentration in that field. You’re also a required to study abroad in a foreign country, which is really neat.
Have you had a favorite class or class experience?
I really like my French courses. My French professor is really opening up the spectrum of the entire French world- because France is not the only French speaking country. French is everywhere, if you think about it. It’s part of my heritage too.
Were you interested in French culture before Farmington?
I started speaking French when I was in second grade and I took it all through middle school. I was in French Honor Society in high school, and now taking it in college has really made it a part of my life. I'll start speaking English, and then, I start speaking in French — it just happens. [laughs]
Are you fluent?
I'm not fluent just yet, but I feel like if I am submersed in the culture, I'll definitely become fluent.
What are some interesting classes are within the International & Global Studies major?
I'm currently taking a Francophone Literature course that focuses on children’s books throughout the French speaking world. I’ve wanted to take a French film course that focuses on French films and deciphering cultural aspects and history aspects of it. I’ve only just starting to get into the nitty-gritty of the different languages. And I really want to take Global Transformations, a history course that looks at the transformation of the world and where is now as compared to where it was originally.
What are the strengths of our International Studies program? What sets it apart from other schools?
I like it because the faculty here is so helpful. They help you get pointed into the right direction. They’re always making suggestions, offering advice and giving you the information you need. I feel the professors at Farmington are one of the most important strengths of our International Studies program.
Have you taken any classes that have changed your view or perspective?
I’ve been taking a lot of Art courses a lot lately. It really has changed my views on art. I'm taking a sculpture class right now where we actually have to go and physically make stuff — and not out of just paper-mache — but out of wood and metal. I never thought that I'd be able to do that, but I am! It totally changed my opinion of artists. I really give them a lot more credit. [laughs]
Do you feel that Farmington is preparing you well?
I feel like it definitely is. It’s really helped me to prepare for whatever my next step. Farmington’s really helping me find out what I want to be.
Have you had any classes outside of your major that have really stood out?
I really liked Marine Biology with Nancy Prentiss [Lecturer in Biology]. I have always lived on the ocean, but I never really knew too much about it. She broke it down and explained everything — why the wind blows in this direction, and why these sea animals do that. It was really interesting to learn out how the ocean environment works.
How is the workload? Is it too hard or too easy?
Every now and again it gets pretty busy. Like now I’m definitely cracking down on a lot of work. I get a lot of work for my French courses because we have to do a lot of deciphering of literature. But I’ve learned how to pace myself, how to not let it get to me, and how to not get too stressed out.
What does a Liberal Arts education mean to you?
It gives you the opportunity to figure out what you want to do and it gives you more of a broad spectrum of job opportunities after graduation.
What makes a good professor?
Someone who can connect with a student and make it a fun environment to learn. Not someone who just talks for an hour and forty minutes. I feel if somebody makes the class a little more hands-on, makes it fun, personable, knows you by name, it’s so much better.
Have any professors at Farmington that have really stood out?
Yes. I feel like there are definitely a few professors that have definitely stood out and have really helped me out. Sylvie Charron [Professor of French] has really helped me out, trying to get me in the right direction toward my major. Also Cathy Wimett [Assoc. Professor of Literacy Education] my advisor. She’s amazing and helped me get my study abroad application ready. Those two have definitely really helped me.
When you need academic advice, who do you go to?
I usually go to Cathy Wimett. She’s my advisor and she has always helped me out. And when I work at the Computer Center Help Desk I talk with both of my work supervisors and they're so helpful and personable. I can connect with them.
How did you decide to come to Farmington?
Originally, I thought it would be the best place — money wise, it was perfect. Also, it’s such a beautiful place. I would rather be someplace not too far from home, just close enough so that I can make it home on some weekends if I wanted to. Also, I’d heard so many great things about the school. I also really liked how professors here know you, not just as a number but as Allison. That's really important — at least to me
What were your first impressions of Farmington?
I immediately fell in love with it. I came and visited in the fall, and I immediately fell in love with all of the leaves and the friendly environment. Just going on tours and seeing people I knew saying, “Oh hey, I went to high school with you!” and meeting new people who are so friendly. You don’t get that everywhere.
Now that you have been here for awhile, do you feel the same way?
Yes. Yes, definitely. I like the atmosphere. Everyone here is amazing. I have some really great friends.
Do you ski or hike?
I hike and I cross-country ski. This was my first year to visit Smalls Falls, and now I’ve gone three or four times since the beginning of the semester. It is so pretty up there — especially with foliage. I’ve gone to Sugarloaf and I hiked Tumbledown Mountain one year — that was a really great hike with a great view. And I’ve gone to Mt. Blue State Park to play Frisbee and go swimming. There's a lot of stuff to do, especially if you like the outdoors.
Have you had any outside of the classroom projects?
Yes, for an Environmental Science course we went to the local woods and did dissections of trees and measured diameters of trees to see which ones have been here the longest, and that kind of stuff.
Do you live in the residence halls? How do you like it?
I do. I lived in Scott Hall for two years and now I am in Purington Hall. I like Purington better. I feel it's more in the middle of the campus. And I really like Purington’s environment, it's so friendly and cozy and so chill. I really like it.
What do you do in Farmington for fun?
I've gone to the comedy hypnotist show on campus a couple of times. I really like seeing the comedians they book to perform here, like when Bob Marley came. During Spring Fling — the big highlight of the year — Green Beaver Fest is cool, too. There’s live music and stuff like that. I also like to go off and adventure. Just go for a drive somewhere, or go hike Tumbledown or go up to Sugarloaf and just hang out up there, or maybe up to Smalls Falls for a swim. There's a lot of stuff to do.
Are you in any student clubs?
I'm vice-president of the French Club right now. We’ve traveled to Canada a couple of times and we’re going to Quebec City next weekend. I'm also in Alpha Phi Omega, the community service fraternity. It's a lot of fun and there's great stuff going on. We're trying to put together a Halloween Trick or Treating thing in the residence halls for the local children. It’s just a lot of fun and a lot of good community service work.
What is your favorite part of being at Farmington overall?
I think it’s been a pretty well-rounded experience, meeting so many new people every year and making great friendships that will last forever. The education I'm getting here is amazing and the professors are awesome. The whole atmosphere of being here is pretty good.
Do you have a work-study job?
I've been working on-campus at the Computer Center Help Desk since my freshman year. I also teach the mini-courses at the Computer Center which can cover topics like using the Internet, Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, making a non-html Web pages, doing external data storage and things like that.
Have you done any kind of volunteer work on campus?
Right now I’m helping out with a new club that is starting on campus called the Social Entrepreneurs Club. I’m also helping out with a craft fair at Franklin Memorial Hospital. And I help out at the Franklin County Animal Shelter. Oh, and we helped the Ronald McDonald House in Bangor, too. We just try to help out any way we can.
What can somebody do with a degree in International Studies?
You can work as an interpreter or at an embassy or other government jobs. You can travel and work at American businesses that have overseas offices. There are a ton of government jobs, especially these days with national security issues and the global economy. Myself, I'd really like to be an interpreter. I feel that would be really important.
Do you have any sage advice for either an incoming student or somebody looking at the school?
Do as much as you can, and take a lot of different classes to see what's out there. Make some great friends.
Would you recommend Farmington to a brother, sister or friend?
Oh, of course. [laughs] I recommended it to my little brother.
- Kristen Bisson
From Waterville, Maine
- Emily Baer
Double major: Art and English
From Brunswick, Maine
- Andrew Thompson
Double major: Music and Art
From Plymouth, Massachusetts
- Shawn Rogers
From Dover, New Hampshire
- Lesley Kittredge
From Mount Vernon, Maine
- Kristen Simoneau
Community Health Education - School Health Education
From Jay, Maine
- Shane Koski
From Auburn, Maine
- Renee Meserve
Early Childhood Education
From Westbrook, Maine
- Casey Myers
Early Childhood Special Education
From Winooski, Vermont
- Craig Nadeau
From Fairfield, Maine
- Michaela Hitchcock
Environmental Planning & Policy
From Springfield, Vermont
- Erica Austin
Double major: History and Geography
From Turner, Maine
- Alison Gerrish
International & Global Studies
From Portland, Maine
- Lisa Kittredge
Liberal Arts Undecided
From Mount Vernon, Maine
- Nate Burns
Double major: Music and Philosophy / Religion
From Wayne, Maine
- Genesis Burke
From Amesbury, Massachusetts
- Mary Beth Kirby
From Farmington, Maine
- Joel Hatfield
Secondary / Middle Education
From Palermo, Maine
- Courtney Church
Sociology / Anthropology
From Portsmouth, New Hampshire
- Emily Langton
From Manchester, New Hampshire