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Each morning, my French mother would wake me with her cheery voice, “Jennifer, c’est l’heure de se réveiller.” I would open my shutters and breathe in the fresh alpine air, awestruck by the view of Les Dents de Lanfon outside my window. I had just finished my Freshman year and I was honored to receive a MacJannet Scholarship to attend Tufts in Talloires. I felt incredibly fortunate to be given this opportunity to travel to France, study international relations in Geneva, immerse in a new culture and hone my French skills. I was excited to live with a French host family, but I had no idea that this experience would indelibly change my concept of family and home.

The MacJannets’ vision was to create a special place where people from all over the world could come together to foster international understanding. That first summer, I learned with and from the Deschamps Family, who welcomed me as their own. For 38 years we have remained in contact. Determined to share Talloires with my family, I returned with my mother and husband, and then, with my children, who attended both the Tufts Summit and the Tufts in Talloires programs. My children lived with their own wonderful host families, the Pescios and the Gatellets, forging special lifelong bonds.

In Talloires, we learned about and fell in love with French culture and the region. Our family grew to include all three of our host families, with whom we have shared memories, meals, and mutual understanding. I am forever indebted to the Tufts European Center. For me, that first summer in Talloires opened a window to a larger, more diverse and beautiful world. During this month of Thanksgiving, I am especially grateful for the joy that Talloires has brought to my family, a family that extends beyond my home in Connecticut to the shores of Lake Annecy.

Jennifer Rosen Shufro attended Tufts in Talloires in 1983 and graduated from Jackson College, summa cum laude in International Relations and French, in 1986. She earned her JD degree from NYU School of Law in 1989 and practiced corporate law in New York, DC and Connecticut. Currently, she works as an academic consultant and pro bono counselor and serves as a member of the Avon Free Public Library Board of Trustees. She loves art, art history, yoga, and hiking.