Julie Neis

Julie Neis


Julie Neis

2003


Major - Psychology

Study Abroad program - Faculty-led to France

Countries visited - France

Post-Study Abroad - I am the Business Development Manager for Fat Tire Tours based in Austin, Texas. The company was started by an Aggie and hosts bike tours aimed toward English-speaking groups. They have three Paris offices as well as offices in London, Madrid and Berlin. 

My internationally-focused career was completely a result of my study abroad experience, I had no idea about the opportunities beforehand. Even taking French before studying abroad didn’t change my direction. My France experience made me qualified to teach and then I ended up at Fat Tire. It is a life-changing experience and all you can do is gain from it.

Brief:

Seeing the world is so important, so why not do it while at A&M with a professor you trust? I am fluent enough in French that I have been mistaken for a local on occasion, but I just can’t lose my American accent.

I went about to study French for six weeks in June and July of 2003. Our program traveled around Paris, Normandy and the Loire Valley. We had language classes and stayed with French host families. It was one the best experiences of my life, and though I had heard bad reviews about the same trip the year before, it was restructured and we all loved it. This was my first time in Europe and it was a mixture of classroom learning and experiencing a different culture’s way of life.

To my find my English-teaching position in Paris I was looking into opportunities and my French professor told me about the French government hiring native English speakers. For Fat Tire Tours, since going to A&M some of my friends had been guides with the company in 2005. I knew that Fat Tire favored hiring Aggies and sponsored visas so that was a big benefit. I also applied for an Au Pair position in case I didn’t get the job with Fat Tire.

My international experience helped with Fat Tire Tours since it was a very competitive application process. The position was open to anyone in the US and there were multiple interviews. I had to speak French with the company owner to prove my language skill level. My time in France definitely gave me a leg up and my language skills wouldn’t be that good without study abroad. I need to be seen as an expert in the language and culture to best provide tours for visitors in Paris.