We love our members! In fact, we love them so much that we want you to get to know them and share in our community. In this series, Member Spotlight, the French Library introduces you to a member via our blog. This edition we are featuring Will Hansen, a globe-trotting, sports tourism-loving member! Read on to learn more about Will...

Will Hansen

"The adaptation to programming at the Center pendant le confinement this year has been great, and definitely has made this period in time more enjoyable/bearable, from the virtual conversation groups to adapting the format of the film club, all especially uplifting for me..."

What is your connection to the French language and/or francophone culture?

I'm from a very internationally-minded family having lived or resided abroad for short periods growing up, and constantly in global communities locally. Both my parents learned French when they grew up in the US, one doing an exchange program in France when they were in high school. When I was an infant I was enrolled in some French classes at a local enrichment program and generally had French children's books around to read. I took French through parts of middle school, high school, and college, and have had opportunities to travel in the Francophone world with my family to France and Morocco for short periods in middle and high school (including being unable to find turkey anywhere in Paris on Thanksgiving...).

Post-college, I've jumped on any opportunities for travel related to visiting friends and family, professional opportunities, or sport-tourism, and so have made reasons to visit France several times. This has meant I've needed to work on my French language ability, using the help of the French Library and also taking part in programs at the Alliance Française de Lyon.

How long have you been a member here and why did you decide to become a member of the French Library?

I joined in mid-2019, after I was in Lyon and became aware of the Alliance Française there from programs that Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) was doing with them and which I was able to tag along with for a day. Then I googled while on the train to Aéroport Charles de Gaulle and found the French Library of Boston! I think I went to an event less than a week later and then registered as a member, and signed up for classes a couple of weeks after that.

[I decided to become a member] to take part in the events and classes, especially with the discounts on classes being a no-brainer more than offsetting the cost of the membership. I've used the local area or online discounts too more recently. I think when I joined there were a series of events about French innovation that were really interesting. I believe the first one I went to before joining was about the history of luxury branding tying modern innovation in 3D printed shoes to Louis XIV and fashion houses.

What do you like about being a member at the Center? Do you have any favorite classes or events that you have participated in?

I think the pace and range of programming is impressive; at any point if I check for things going on for free or close to it there are at least a few options for each week or so and always very interesting. I think last year around this time there was an art exhibition collaborating with scientists and artists that was fascinating and important. The TV5MONDE offerings or just awareness of it has been great in getting me to sign up, and I've found that super helpful and entertaining as a great starting point for keeping up with francophone media, current and classic.

The adaptation to programming at the center "pendant le confinement" this year has been great, and definitely has made this period in time more enjoyable/bearable, from the virtual conversation groups to adapting the format of the film club, all especially uplifting for me considering I left France and francophone Europe slightly sooner than expected "à cause du coronavirus" (when I also learned that "Coronavirus" was a villain in the 2017 Asterix BD).

If you could travel to any Francophone country, what would it be and why?

This is always a difficult question, since the obvious yet unhelpful answer is "all of them, and right now" so to be most practical and specific, I've never been to Montréal despite it being a short 5hr drive north (border closing notwithstanding), and since "tourisme sportif" seems to motivate me, they have a great running event every September (except this one). Genève and Bruxelles are interesting on a number of levels with high-level global happenings in beautiful cities, and I know Genève has a running festival next May along the lake for UNICEF.

Interested in sharing your story or becoming a member?

Contact our Membership Manager, Natalie Collet, at or call (617) 912-0400.

Natalie Collet

Former Membership Manager

From the Midwest, Natalie is a Francophile at heart. Her interest in French started when studying ballet and​ the language and culture entranced her through her student years.​ She became involved with the - Alliance - in the suburbs of Chicago after she spent an unforgettable year teaching English in a French high school near Bordeaux. She is happy to join the team in Boston and work with the members to provide them with unique opportunities​, ​quality programming​, and a community through French!

See All Posts

Related Posts

Four Ways to Meet New People

Whenever I engage with members of the French Library, particularly during our "Alors Conversation Club," my first question is often about their reasons for joining…

Read More

Event Recap: Bastille Day 2023 at La Voile Brookline!

This past Friday, our Bastille Day celebration was back for another installment at the charming La Voile in Brookline; over 70 guests enjoyed French appetizers…

Read More


Dear Friends, Merci! That is undoubtedly one of the first French words you learned. At this half-way point through the year, as I reflect on…

Read More

Upcoming Events

Friday, September 29, 2023 2:00 PM To 3:00 PM

Seeking opportunities to speak French? Join us online for our popular members-only conversation gathering.

Read More
Friday, September 29, 2023 6:30 PM To 8:00 PM

The French Library is pleased to welcome Lebanese author, Joseph Kai for a discussion of his latest book: Restless (English translation of L’Intranquille). We will dive into Joseph’s own story based in Beirut, Lebanon.

Read More
Story Time

L'Heure du Conte

French story time!

Saturday, September 30, 2023 11:30 AM To 12:00 PM

We invite parents and children to gather in the children's room of our library for a magical story time in French!

Read More