Student Testimonials


LauraJarrel“Participating in the SLS France program has been my most memorable experience at Georgia Tech. You are offered precious opportunities to improve your French, open your eyes to scientific and ecological issues, and most uniquely, work with local schools and organizations that seek to make the diverse and beautiful city of Metz more sustainable. I came back home with great friendships and experiences thanks to Dr. Boulard’s amazing and carefully planned trips from Paris to a nuclear power plant. I highly recommend this program to anyone looking for a one-of-a-kind semester in France!”

— Laura Jarrel

image“I would definitely recommend this program to other students! Especially if you don’t have the chance to take any other french classes while at GTL, this program is a great way to get practice as well as gives so many ways to get involved in the community. Dr. Boulard truly made this semester special for us.”

— Lauren O’Sullivan

Savannah“The SLS-France Program is a unique program that provides students with the opportunity to learn about international sustainability efforts while fully immersed in a new culture. This program is already one of a kind at Georgia Tech and countrywide; however, under the leadership of Dr. Boulard, she was able to bring a whole new aspect of community interaction by introducing weekly class trips to meet and work with local gardening, composting, transportation, and refugee housing organizations as well as two full-day trips. By taking her teaching skills outside of the classroom and applying them to aid us in fostering close collaborations with organizations abroad, she allowed us to form genuine relationships with the locals of Metz and truly interact with and experience their culture. Dr. Boulard encouraged us to abandon our comfort zones and approach the challenge of building a sustainable future from someone else’s eyes.

Dr. Boulard also went out of her way to connect with each student to learn our passions and provide us with cultural experiences that would excite each of us. To me, this is one of Dr. Boulard’s greatest strengths. She is genuinely excited to share her culture and understanding of France with her students and is willing to be open-minded about how that may look different for each student. Dr. Boulard cultivated an environment where the fluidity of knowledge exchange between students and herself was natural and constantly evolving, just as learning should be. Dr. Boulard knows exactly how to challenge, inspire, encourage, and connect with her students, and I watched it impact not only myself but also my fellow students throughout our time in the SLS-France Program.”

— Savannah Simpson

Elayne“I would absolutely recommend this program, especially if you’re going to GTL to work more on your French skills.  Not only are you taking classes taught in the language, but you also get to go out into the community and immerse yourself in the culture through conversations with locals.  It really is a one-of-a-kind experience. I liked the occasional field trips outside of Metz, like Strasbourg and Paris for example.  It was refreshing to see other parts of France also practicing sustainability in different ways and to get a bigger picture of sustainable development in France as a whole.”

—  Laynie McGrail

image“This program was very interesting because it cemented a lot of the ideas that I already had in my head about the severity and required action for climate change. Also, it provided an interesting opportunity to see the application of ecological techniques in multiple fields through service. I would certainly recommend this program to GT students, although I would add that it can interfere with a busy GTL travel schedule.”

— John Clashman

Samy“The SLS France program is a great way to immerse yourself in the French language and culture and simultaneously engage with sustainability. Dr. Boulard provided multiple opportunities to exercise our language skills and critical thinking by introducing us to different perspectives on ecological issues and guiding us in constructive debates over the best sustainable practices and policies. She also ensured that we gained practical experience by working with local organizations, which helped me appreciate the effort that went into organizing sustainable initiatives. Dr. Boulard’s end-of-semester project inspired us to use all the knowledge and experience we gathered from the program to create and execute sustainable initiatives of our own. Currently, a couple of students and I are working on a permaculture community garden in Atlanta to grow fresh and accessible produce. It’s truly a unique program that provides all the tools necessary to come up with creative solutions and make sustainability a more attainable goal.”

— Samyuktha Sundararajan

MeganDufresne“The SLS France program is a program that I would recommend to any student interested in learning more about sustainability through a global lens! I absolutely loved my semester in Metz, and the SLS program was a huge reason for that! I was able to learn and practice the language while learning about critical sustainability topics. I liked how this class was not limited to the classroom! One of my favorite experiences was attending the Cinémaplanète International Film Festival and going to enjoy a lovely reception with community leaders after the film. I learned more than I could have ever imagined about myself, sustainability, and the French language during this program. I formed incredible friendships, and I also got the opportunity to build a relationship with Dr. Boulard who has helped shape my perspective in so many ways!”

— Megan Dufresne