UMD's French Club in Downtown Detroit in 2014. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Byk.
UMD's French Club in Downtown Detroit in 2014. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Byk.
UMD’s French Club in Downtown Detroit in 2014. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Byk.


In collaboration with the Art History Association, the French Club is preparing to sponsor a trip to the Toledo Museum of Art to see the work of the “Degas and the Dance” exhibit. The trip is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 19 from 12-5 p.m.

The event is all-inclusive and open to all UM-Dearborn students who are interested. Transportation will be provided via bus. Interested students are to meet in the University Center at noon. Admission to the museum is free.

Jennifer Byk, secretary of French Club, said that the idea for the trip was born from an overlap in the mutual interests of the French Club and the Art History Association.

“For French Club, we like to do a lot of cultural events. So, anything that incorporates any type of French culture,” Byk said. “We figured that since, I think we co-sponsored last year the trip to the DIA, since it kind of goes hand-in-hand, you know, art history. And so this year we figured that we would just go ahead. And this way it’s more inclusive. Because we want to make it open to everyone.”

To emphasize the club’s effort to share the French culture with other students, Byk noted some similar trips that they have taken in the past, including a trip to the Detroit Opera House for a showing of a French Film, as well as a tradition they have of going to a French restaurant in Detroit.

“It’s just little things like that, that come up downtown that we go to,” Byk said. “And we’re not a very large group, so we’re kind of tight-knit, so… we’ll carpool and go as friends. We always go to Le Petit Zinc in Corktown. We do a few trips every year and we always tell everyone about that. It’s just like we have brunch or something.”

Byk further elaborated on why she thinks sharing the French culture with the campus community is so important to the club.

“Mostly everyone in French club either has taken 101/102 French or we’re all French minors or French studies majors, or international studies [majors],” Byk said. “So, our lives pretty much revolve around French culture and so we’re already kind of obsessed with it. I think that when you love something, you really want to share it with other people and give them a little bit of insight into your life and into what you study all of the time. And I think it’s amazing when other people who are passionate about stuff are teaching me. It’s just a good collaboration to learn from other people, and so I think that it’s really important to us — we want to teach other people and show them why we love it [French culture].”

Byk also summarized why this trip in particular is a unique opportunity for UMD students.

“Anyone who’s interested in art, or even just wants to go to the Museum, they don’t have to stick with us through the exhibit; they can definitely just come for the trip,” Byk said. “And we’ll all just come and leave at the same time. They’re free to do whatever if they just wanna come to the Toledo Art Museum and hang out with us. And that’s pretty much what the trip is about — just enjoying art together.”

The Degas and the Dance exhibit will be on display until Jan. 10, 2016. For questions about the trip, contact Jennifer Byk at