A Franco-American View

Emily Preston '19

Emily Preston ’19 

Emily Preston ’19 is interested in the arts, the environment and philanthropy, and she developed a taste for exploring world cultures early, having lived and traveled in Europe during her first four grades in elementary school. This music major and Eco Rep discusses what she learned while living and going to school in France, her interest in social justice, her little-known talent and the value of hard work and dedication.



Clubs and organizations:

College Choir, Collegium, Dtones a capella group, Eco-Reps and Outdoor Leadership School.


Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society and Benjamin Rush Scholarship.

Favorite book:

The Harry Potter series.

Favorite movie:

Stuck in Love.

On choosing Dickinson:

I was really looking for a small teacher-to-student ratio, and somewhere that I could have my voice heard and feel like a part of the community. I was really looking for somewhere that had small, discussion-based classes, and so far I have really found that this is the case here.

Favorite place on campus:


Favorite Dining Hall food:

Kove chili and cornbread.

Favorite class (so far):

Philosophy and the Environment, taught by Professor [of Philosophy Susan] Feldman last semester. It was kind of a strange class that didn’t particularly relate to my intended major, but it really gave me a new way of looking at environmental issues from a moral and philosophical perspective, which I found incredibly eye-opening and interesting.

As a kid, I wanted to be …

… an astronaut.

Most important thing I’ve learned so far:

That hard work and dedication really pay off. No matter what it is, if you set your mind to it and work hard then you can and will be successful. 

Little-known hobby/talent:

I surf!

Little-known fact:

I lived in France for four years growing up. It really gave me some cool insight into other cultures and communities. In 2003, after I was finished with kindergarten in Swampscott, Mass., my dad's company offered him a position at their office in southern France. We moved out there in 2003, and I attended French-speaking public elementary school for grades 1, 2, 3, and 4. By December of 2003, about three months after we moved there, I could speak French almost fluently.

While we were living in France, we visited all sorts of places; we skied in the French Alps, we went to Rome, Florence, Venice, Barcelona, London and, my personal favorite, Austria. I didn’t realize it until later, but visiting all of these places and seeing all of the different cultures gave me a worldview very different from that of people who lived in one place for their whole childhood, and it made me become very interested in global perspectives and different languages.

Post-Dickinson plans:

I want to find a passion and a career that will make me think and learn new things and work hard and help make the world a better place. I am interested in the environmental science field because I have a passion for justice and sustainability and I want to protect our planet.

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Published September 15, 2016