College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences > Academics > International Studies > About > Alumni Spotlight > Aileen Byrne
Concentration: International Studies and French double major with minors in Spanish, Arabic Studies and Modern Languages
Year of graduation: 2011
My time at DePaul was instrumental in allowing me to achieve my goals to work abroad in the field of international affairs. The rigorous international studies courses really nurtured my interests, allowing me to design my own academic concentration. I was also able to cross register with upper-level thematic foreign language courses, which enabled me to complete a second major in French and two minors in Arabic and Spanish. Language is a passion of mine, so it was important for me to be able to study several languages while still pursuing my international studies major. I spent my junior year abroad with DePaul’s academic year program in Paris, where I was able to take courses on the history of the Middle East and North Africa at the Sorbonne University, and it was a big challenge for me to take these courses in French with all my peers being native French speakers. However, without having had that opportunity as a study abroad student in my undergrad, I don’t know that I would have had the confidence to pursue an entire master’s degree taught in French just three years later. If I have any advice for current international studies students at DePaul it is to apply for every opportunity that seems interesting to you, even if you are unsure or don’t think you have a chance to be accepted. After my freshman year I applied for the Critical Language Scholarship to study Arabic and was rejected, but the second year I applied I was accepted, so don’t give up, and seek opportunities to help fund your goals. There are many paid scholarships and training programs available if you take the time to look.