On Netanyahu, Paris and studying abroad

When Emily Flood arrived in Paris in late August 2014 as a Martel College sophomore, little did she know her year abroad would allow her to delve deep into international affairs and publish an article in a respected French military journal that is housed in a building once frequented by Napoleon Bonaparte. Seven months later, Flood, who participated in the Sweet Briar College Junior Year in France program, saw her byline appear in an analysis of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s March 3 speech to Congress.

Rice junior Emily Flood stands in front of the École Militaire in Paris, the site of her internship with the journal Revue Défense Nationale (Review of National Defense) earlier this spring.

Flood wrote the article titled “Netanyahu’s speech to Congress on March 3, 2015: What issues for an Iranian nuclear deal?” as part of an internship with the journal Revue Défense Nationale (Review of National Defense). The review was founded in 1939 and currently has more than 2,000 subscribers around the world, from individuals to embassies and large companies.

“I essentially provide an analysis of Netanyahu’s speech to Congress and how the fact that Netanyahu gave this speech to contradict Obama’s support of the Iranian nuclear deal is concerning for our relations with Israel,” Flood said. “Furthermore, the popularity that Netanyahu has with the Republicans is concerning since their support of someone opposing Obama’s politics shows the world a fractured American government that can be easily swayed by outsiders.”

While she has no “special interest in defense,” Flood has an affinity for international relations. “Learning about them from a French perspective, and a military perspective at that, was very eye-opening,” the French studies major said.

The internship was arranged by the Sweet Briar College program, which is the nation’s oldest coeducational intercollegiate study-abroad opportunity in Paris. “This internship has been both a very beneficial professional and cultural experience,” Flood said. “I spent most of my time translating sections of each monthly issue from French to English that will be put on the website to interest more English readers. I was slightly nervous starting out though, because it is located within the École Militaire, a military school constructed by (King) Louis XV and where Napoleon Bonaparte himself attended school.”

Flood is the second French studies student to publish in a noted French publication in recent years, according to Deborah Nelson-Campbell, professor of French studies. In 2007 alumna Merrill Turner ‘08 published an article on Charles Dickens in leading French newspaper Le Monde while in Paris with the Sweet Briar College program.

“The program in French studies is very strong, and we encourage our students to attain a high level of proficiency in reading, writing, speaking and understanding the language as well as a knowledge of many subject areas that they study with the faculty,” Nelson-Campbell said. “Emily and Merrill are not the only students whose French is impressive, but it is not often that students have the opportunity to publish in France.”

Nelson-Campbell had advised Flood to pursue the program as a sophomore and met with her twice in Paris while there on separate occasions for a conference and a class.

Back on campus this summer, Flood is working for the Religion and Public Life Program, helping to transcribe and translate interviews with French scientists, among other things. “When I graduate, I would like to become a foreign-service officer with the State Department or work for an international organization or business where I would be able to use my French,” she said.

About Jeff Falk

Jeff Falk is director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.