Seniors Julia Hamilton and Samantha Ramsey Receive Teaching Assistantships in France

two white young women smiling casually with green shrubbery in the background
Julia Hamilton (l) and Samantha Ramsey

Rhodes seniors Julia Hamilton and Samantha Ramsey have been selected for the Teaching Assistant Program in France to teach English as a Second Language in schools located in the region of Nantes, France, for 2017-2018.
The program, which has become increasingly competitive over the last few years with more than a thousand applicants, is a joint initiative of the French Ministry of Education, the Centre international d'études pédagogiques, and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy. Its goal is to strengthen English-language instruction in French schools and to provide American Francophiles with excellent teaching experience.

Applications are evaluated based on a number of criteria that are indicative of a candidate’s potential for successful participation in the program including French-language skills, experience working with children and living abroad, teaching experience, the level of the applicant’s college studies, and general motivation.

Hamilton, a French and business major from Memphis, TN, has served as a writing fellow at Rhodes and a French tutor assisting students in lower-level French classes with assignments and test preparation. She also has served as a tutor for Snowden Elementary School; a resident advisor; and a member of the Ruka, Rhodes’ intentional community in which participants also are involved in civic engagement. In 2014, Hamilton worked as a Rhodes Summer Service Fellow for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis. A graduate of White Station High School, she also is a pastry cook. She was the winner of this year’s Business Plan Competition, sponsored annually by Rhodes’ E-club, created to spark entrepreneurships among area college students. Hamilton’s plan involved starting a pastry business, and she plans to learn all about French pastries during and after her internship.

Ramsey, who is pursuing a major in French and environmental studies, has served as a French tutor in addition to working as a student employee in Rhodes’ Buckman Center for International Education. In 2015, she spent a semester abroad in Rennes, France. Ramsey’s passion for environmental studies has afforded her the opportunities to serve as a Rhodes Garden Fellow; a science intern for the Global Crop Diversity Trust in Germany; and an intern for the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation. A resident of Grinnell, IA, Ramsey is a graduate of Grinnell Community Senior High School.

Rhodes 2014 alumna Olivia Hipp, also will teach in France 2017-2018 in the Tours/Orléans Academy. She was president of the French Club while at Rhodes and a member of the French Honors Society.