She’s headed to Lyon, France

Emma Wethington

(Posted June 28, 2023)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

Emma Wethington, a 2023 Madison-Plains graduate, is headed to France to immerse herself in the country’s language and culture thanks to a scholarship from the American Society of Academic Palms.

Wethington applied for the scholarship her junior year at the urging of her French teacher, Beatrice Oswomo. She didn’t expect to win the award because the Society only gives out three scholarships nationwide each year, and only one of those goes to a high school student. Additionally, she had to write an essay entirely in French without using language help sites.

“It was the first scholarship I applied for. I just thought of it as practice for future scholarship applications,” said the Mount Sterling resident.

With news that she had won the scholarship, Wethington then got to choose a program within the Society’s offerings. She chose a three-week intensive language program overseen by Acadia Language Schools in Lyon, a city in southeast France.

Originally, the trip was scheduled for the summer of 2022, but COVID-related postponements for previous scholarship winners had a domino effect, pushing Wethington’s trip forward a year. Now, the time has come. She leaves July 8.

“I’ll be staying with a host family, so it’s like I will be a foreign exchange student,” Wethington said.

For the three weeks she is in France, she will take five classes a day, five days a week, building on the four years of French she took in high school.

“At Madison-Plains, the last two years, I was the only person in my French classes, so I didn’t get to dive as deep into the language as I would have liked,” she said.

About the trip to Lyon, she added, “I’m mostly excited just to be there and be immersed fully in it. I’m also excited to be able use the language in day-to-day life.”

Even with a full class schedule, Wethington will have time to explore the area. She has a long list of things she wants to do and see. Visiting the Swiss Alps is at the top of the list.

“They are on the border near Lyon. You can get there in a couple of hours by train. I think it would be cool to do some hiking in the Swiss Alps,” she said.

Wethington is headed to the University of Indianapolis this fall to double major in business and environmental science. She thought about minoring in French, but her college advisors said she has a full plate with the double major. She said she still might consider squeezing in some French classes.

At Madison-Plains, Wethington played soccer all four years, serving as captain for three years. She was on student council, served as a class officer for two years, was a member of National Honor Society, and served as a youth ambassador for Madison County Prevention.

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