PIERRE C. FRALEY SCHOLARSHIP
The purpose of the Pierre C. Fraley Scholarship is to give students the opportunity to increase their language proficiency in French and to enrich their understanding of French culture and contemporary society. To be eligible for the Pierre C. Fraley Scholarship the applicant must meet the criteria listed below:
The Alliance Française scholarship committee will weigh need, merit, and the applicant’s career plans when awarding the scholarship in the amount of $3500. Preference will be given to residents of the tri-state area (PA-NJ-DE) or to out-of area students who are matriculated at a university in the tri-state area.
After finishing the project the recipient must summit to the scholarship committee, within 30 days, proof of completion and an evaluation of the project by a superior.
In addition, the recipient is required to write a 500 word report describing the experience in France.
• The deadline for applications to be received by the AF is February 15 and candidates will be contacted by March 15th.
The applicant must submit via e-mail, unless otherwise noted:
• The application form, format .doc, .docx or .pdf
• The applicant must submit a cover letter, in French, 500 word maximum, describing their reason for applying and career plans and how they intend to benefit from the program of study.
• a 2 to 5 minute video recording of their spoken French presenting him(her)self in a different way than a cover letter.
• All Applicants must submit 2 letters of recommendation. At least one of these must be from the applicant's current teacher of French. (University students: can be submitted by mail on university letterhead, or by e-mail. If e-mailed format .doc, .docx or .pdf, must be sent from professor's university e-mail address).
• University students must submit a current official transcript of grades (by US mail from the Registrar's office)
• The applicant must submit a copy of their application to a program of studies. The applicant must submit a copy of their application to that program. Receipt of the award is contingent upon acceptance to such a program. Format .pdf
The Alliance Française de Philadelphie wishes to thank the family and friends of former president, the late Pierre C. Fraley, for their generosity in establishing a scholarship program that will, in Mr. Fraley’s name, encourage, enable and promote the study of the French language and culture among deserving young people.
Watercolor - memories of the South of France
By Gretel Cuevas - Recipient of the 2018 Fraley Scholarship
It is not hard to fall in love with the south of France, a place that gracefully sings and honors the beauty of life. The seductive power of this region extends from the rolling vineyards of the Provence to the dazzling Mediterranean beaches. Thanks to the Pierre C. Fraley scholarship I was able to participate in the program of the Institut D´Avignon, an immersion program where I discovered the French culture linguistically and culturally. Amidst rolling vineyards, olive trees, and the distinctive muttering of grasshoppers I delved into the mysteries of French literature and theater redefining my use of the French language as well as my understanding of life. This summer was composed of vivid watercolor memories that redefined the way I understand myself, my culture and my literary work.
Still, under the morning sun, I landed in Marseille airport in early June. As soon as I arrived, I encountered friendly people that indicated me how to get to the Saint- Charles train station, a pink-stone building where I lined up for almost an hour to get a train ticket to Avignon. While in the queue I met Adeline, a graceful college student majoring in cinema at the University of Lyon. After sharing a deep conversation, I became conscious of the amiability of French people and their willingness to make new friends. The train took off surprising me with the beautiful landscapes framed by the window. It was like seeing Cezanne´s paintings in motion over and over again. The majesty of the Mount St. Victoire combined with the blended landscapes of lavender and sunflower fields surprised me in a way that it was inevitable to start writing. It was then when I realized that it was not a coincidence that the south of France was where artists such as Van Gogh, Matisse, and Scott Fitzgerald found inspiration. Soon after, the train arrived at Avignon, a small town on the left bank of the Rhône river that served as the papal state between 1309 and 1377. The medieval city surprised me with its artistic soul that flourished ubiquitously in every corner. Painters congregated in front of Palais des Papes- the most famous landmark of Avignon- and street singers and accordion musicians created a sound similar to a French movies´soundtrack that extended all over the city. Later, in early July international renowned script-writers, producers and actors brought to life the Festival de Avignon, one of the best theater festivals in the world since 1947. Fueled by the artistic momentum of others I joined that symphony by writing my second novel in the small coffee shops and hidden spaces of the city.And if one pretends to understand the French culture, there is no better place than the coffee shops. There you will find mesmerizing expressos and flaky croissants that blend in a seducing minimalistic combination.
The literature courses were truly rewarding for my French. By exploring the texts of contemporary authors that chose to write in French despite their non-francophone origins, I studied figures of “in-betweenness” that characterize the modern identity. Where do we belong? What are the frontiers of our identity? How collective identity shape us? The works of the Greek Vassilis Alexakis, the Czech Milan Kundera and the Canadian Nancy Huston portray the complexity of leaving the homeland and the mother tongue. These three authors, after living abroad for different reasons chose the French language to create their literary works. The author´s mastery of French demonstrates the flexibility of the language, and how the emotional detachment of a foreign language can provide a higher consciousness of the structural nature of words.
Furthermore, while writing in French I discovered a freedom of expression that is not always available in my mother tongue, Spanish. Being able to write short stories in French that denounce violence against women in Mexico was a liberating experience that I had never experienced before. After finalizing the course, I have decided to express part of my literary work in French.
I sincerely thank the French Alliance and the Pierre C. Fraley scholarship for believing in me and providing me the opportunity to discover the French language and culture. This summer will always be in my memory reminding me of the transforming power of literature.