Martha, Anna and I drove down to Grenoble on Saturday to visit Laura Pohl ‘10. Laura is at Universite Joseph Fourier for the semester on an exchange program from Boston University. This program is for science students. Laura is pre-med, so she is taking Organic Chemistry and Cell Biology along with a French language and a French culture course. She is doing great.
UJF has had language exchanges with BU for several years, and they have just recently started up this exchange for science majors. This year, they also started an exchange for engineering majors. We shared coffee with the program coordinator, Marie Eve Scheibling, who has taught at both USF and BU.
The founder of UJF , Joseph Fourier, developed the Fourier Series and the Fourier Law (heat transfer: check with the math and science teachers) in the early 1800s and he always believed that scientific advancements should be shared with the world community. As a result, Grenoble has been a leading spot for international scientific research. In the late 1800s, they developed new methods of hydroelectricity, and recently they have built a molecular biology facility and synchrotron. 5,000 engineering students graduate from Grenoble schools every year, and 17 different Noble laureates have worked from Grenoble.
Today, USF professors teach some of their classes in English (Laura is in these classes) and the university works to both invite international students to their campus and send students to overseas campuses to better understand how to weave scientific inquiry and disparate cultures. Professor Scheibling spoke with pride about two BU alumni who had recently told her about how they are working with global or diplomatic organizations and how the semester in Grenoble had opened their eyes to the international scientific community.
In Laura’s case, the two science courses are demanding and the French “is even harder” as she studied Latin at Holderness before starting French at BU. All the students live with citizens of Grenoble. Laura lives with an 82 year old woman who only speaks French. They play Scrabble, in French, but she has not yet won a game.
Here is Laura in front of her library with the Alps in the background.
You can find more at http://marthamacomber.phanfare.com/5341339#imageID=142780773