CLASS undergraduate Bianca Salinas is one of only 18 students in the U.S. this year to receive a Fulbright U.S. Student Program study/research award, which she will use to complete a master’s degree in translation in Paris, France, starting in the fall 2018 semester. The competitive national fellowship will cover all her expenses during her two years of study at the Sorbonne or Université Paris-Diderot.
Dr. Claudine Giacchetti, director of the French Program in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, is immensely proud of her student and the opportunities that are being made available as a result of her hard work and commitment to excellence.
Salinas, who will graduate in May with a Bachelor of Arts in French, hopes to apply her language skills working for the U.S. Immigration and Refugee Services.
Originally from Baytown, Texas, she has dedicated her academic and professional life to studying language and promoting cultural diversity.
“I first became really interested in French when a mentor in high school introduced me to the original texts of French and German literature,” she explains. “She was a polyglot and I wanted to move fluidly from one language to another just as she did. I also really became interested in translation, and the social and political implications in that field.”
Now a polyglot herself, Salinas speaks English, French and German, is learning Arabic, and uses some Spanish with her family.
She has studied in France twice before. “In the summer of 2016, I took French language courses at the Sorbonne (The University of Paris) for three months,” says Salinas. “And in the summer of 2017, I continued my education for another three months at the same school while volunteering with the French refugee organizations Emmaüs and Singa France.”