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Contact: Lynn Stewart or Kelsey Bellamy, Centenary News Service, 318-869-5120

4 Centenary College Students to Study in Belgium on CODOFIL Scholarships

SHREVEPORT, LA — This summer, four Centenary students will travel to Belgium for a three-week French immersion program at the University of Liège.

Aaron Elrod of Little Rock, Ark.; Kelsey Bellamy Johnson of Golden, Texas; Scott Lerchie of Shreveport, La; and Ashley Owens of Ruston, La., were awarded scholarships from the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana (CODOFIL), having been selected from hundreds of applicants from across the state.

In July they will join 45 international students to study French culture and language, attending morning classes at the university and spending afternoons off-campus to participate in various cultural activities. Weekends will be free for independent travel and exploration.

Far from a typical European tourist's vacation, this trip will demand complete immersion into the language and culture of southern Belgium. Although much of their time spent in Liège will be exciting, the students are faced with a fairly daunting adventure that requires linguistic concentration and courage.
"I'm nervous," says Aaron Elrod, a senior economics major, "but I know that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I am looking forward to it."

Nervousness aside, each of the Centenary scholars admits to having a genuine gratitude for the chance to study abroad. Scott Lerchie, a junior who is double-majoring in French and economics, says that he feels well equipped to seize this opportunity because of the support he has received. "There is no way I could possibly imagine going on an educational journey like this without the encouragement of my French professor, Dr. Dana Kress, and the help of CODOFIL."

Created by the Louisiana legislature in 1968, CODOFIL has offered students the opportunity to enhance their knowledge of the French language by studying abroad. In conjunction with the French Community of Belgium, this year CODOFIL provided scholarships for 16 students attending colleges and universities in Louisiana.

Through their study abroad, the students will receive transfer credit and return with a stronger confidence in their language skills, not to mention many unforgettable experiences. Some of these experiences will likely include touring the city of Liège, fondly referred to as "la cité ardente" (the fiery city) because of its long history of revolutionary spirit and resolve. The students plan to visit the region's many monuments, museums, gardens, castles, cathedrals, and the market place, no doubt tasting the famous Belgian chocolate and waffles along the way.

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