Today marked the end of 12 weeks of French training at FSI. Know what that means? I’m halfway done with my 24-week training program. Woo! In fact, technically, I’m more than halfway done since my end-of-training test date just so happens to fall at the beginning of week 24. So… that’s exciting. And also scary.
The good news is that I had my second semi-official progress evaluation today, and despite some admitted slacking off as of late, I’m still trucking along just fine. I’m “a solid 2/2.” Here’s a video that shows what that means (through the progress of an English learner):
The important thing about reaching the 2/2 level, is — you guessed it — I’m cleared to apply for an immersion trip! Expect to read much more about that later.
Allegedly I’m ahead of schedule, but I’m not totally sure I believe that since the next 12 weeks will be spent getting up to this level, and I don’t feel halfway there at all:
Even if I am able to pass my end-of-training exam, I’m still not so sure that I’ll be proficient enough to, say, give speeches and tough interviews in French, which as the Public Diplomacy Officer, could very well be required of me. I’m banking on the fact that the Beninois are a kind, patient and forgiving people… especially when it comes to the French ability of a certain new diplomat at the American Embassy.