Morgan Barras understands the power of making decisions for her future’s best interests. Her choice to attend the University of Louisiana at Lafayette was intentional. She said, “I chose to study at UL Lafayette for the accredited interior design program and the variety of French classes they offer that I knew I wanted to take. To study on a beautiful campus in such close proximity to our festivals and downtown events allowed me to venture deeper into our community.”
Her interest in French and interior design molded her decision in when choosing her course of study, “I chose to pursue a dual degree in interior design and French so that I could fully immerse myself in all of the academic opportunities and maximize my learning potential during my undergrad studies in topics that interest me.” Morgan had a mission in mind to integrate her interests together for her undergraduate experience.
“I’ve always enjoyed learning a new language, and its meaning became more profound for me as I grew to appreciate my family’s Cajun heritage and Acadiana’s culture. I didn’t want to let that go while I was studying interior design. I wanted to increase my writing and oral proficiency and specifically learn more about French in Louisiana- its history, social context, language development and more.”
Morgan enjoys her education journey at UL Lafayette. Her favorite French course is Sociocultural Context of Louisiana French taught by Dr. Lindner. She said, "It truly opened my eyes to the history of French in Louisiana and the reasons why it developed as it did. Ever since taking the class, I have been able to better appreciate Cajun and Creole French. During this class, we had to interview a native Louisiana French speaker in Louisiana, transcribe our discussion and make a presentation." Her favorite interior design course was Interior Design Capstone. Morgan created a language learning center that would allow people to learn French and celebrate Louisiana’s unique heritage and culture.
Throughout her journey, Morgan has joined several organizations which include, Interior Design Association, Francofous, Ballroom Dance Club, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, College of the Arts Task Force Committee, and Ragin’ Cajun Catholics. She said, "Each of these organizations have gifted me with new friends, community and learning opportunities.”
Along with joining organizations, Morgan has also taken advantage of the University’s study abroad program as part of her French curriculum.
"I was able to study abroad in Canada and France thanks to the Department of Modern Languages. I spent five weeks in Church Point, Nova Scotia participating in a French immersion summer session and about four months in France as a full-time student. During both times, I met some amazing people, traveled a lot, increased my language skills and made unforgettable memories. I am forever grateful to my professors and our scholarship sponsors for these opportunities."
The cultural diversity, linguistics, and history are Morgan’s favorite aspect of the French program.
“We have the chance to learn about such a variety of subjects taught by a variety of professors who come from Louisiana, the US, Europe, Africa and elsewhere. Instead of focusing only on grammar or French in France, we can learn about Canadian French, African francophones and their writings, the history of comic books in Belgium, Louisiana francophones and their writings, and even more.”
Morgan plans to apply to LISAA (L'Institut Supérieur des Arts Appliqués) or ESDAC (école supérieure de design) after she receives her undergraduate degree. She would love to pursue a master's degree in Interior Architecture in France.
“When I return to Lafayette, I hope to use my French as much as I can and help design projects that promote French in Louisiana. One day, I would love to design and open a language café that focuses on active learning to help people learn French.”