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Germaine Mercier Scholarship

Thanks to the generous support of the Germaine Mercier Scholarship Fund and the UW-Madison Department of French & Italian, The French House is pleased to announce the availability of housing scholarships of up to $1500 for 10 UW-Madison undergraduate first-year or incoming (transfer) students annually.

Ms. Mercier played an important role in the Department of French and Italian where she inspired and taught several generations of French undergraduate and graduate students in French language, civilization and literature. Born in Marseille, France, in 1898, Ms. Mercier came to the United States as a French Government exchange student after having studied at the Sorbonne in Paris. She spent two years at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington where she received a Bachelor’s Degree in biology. Then, after receiving a Master’s degree in French and English from the University of Washington-Seattle, she decided to make her career as a French teacher in America and accepted a position as Lecturer and Director of the newly founded French House of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Germaine Mercier taught in the Department of French and Italian for forty-five years (1923-1968) and was given tenure as an Assistant Professor in the nineteen sixties. Upon her death in 1995, she bequeathed monies to the Department of French and Italian to be used for annual prizes for undergraduate students for outstanding scholarship in French.

If you are an undergraduate, first-year or incoming (transfer) student, you can apply for this scholarship at the same time you submit your housing application. Please read on…

Scholarship criteria

The awarding of these scholarships is based on five criteria:

  1. Academic Standing: Qualified applicants have not attended the UW-Madison. They will be first-year or incoming (transfer) UW-Madison full-time undergraduate students. Students who have studied at the UW-Madison as Special Students while still enrolled in high school are eligible.
  2. Academic Preparation: Applicants must submit a current high school or college transcript. Non-native speakers of French must demonstrate a minimum equivalent of 4-5 years of high school French or a minimum equivalent of 4 college semesters of French. Applicants should demonstrate a desire to pursue an academic career path in (or related to) French and/or international studies (this information is included in the student’s application for residence at the French House and can be reiterated in his/her personal statement).
  3. Recommendation: All French House applicants must provide a letter of recommendation, preferably from a current French teacher. This letter will be taken into consideration for both the application for residence and the scholarship application. This letter can be sent electronically to info@uwfrenchhouse.org.
  4. Financial Impact: Although not a requirement, financial need will be taken into consideration. A lack of financial need alone will not, by any means, disqualify an applicant. However, in the personal statement (see below), the applicant is encouraged to describe how this award would impact him/her financially.
  5. Personal Statement: The applicant will write a short essay (1-2 pages), in French, demonstrating how he or she would contribute to life at the French House and how living at the French House would impact his/her college experience, in terms of finances, education and personal growth.

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