French and Francophone Studies

Studying French can give students insights into an array of cultures and world views in over forty different countries on five different continents. French is also one of the official languages of the United Nations, the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Doctors Without Borders, the Olympic Committee, and the European Community. French is the most frequently spoken language in American households after English and Spanish.

We offer courses in French language and French and francophone cultures at the introductory and intermediary levels to students who seek to attain proficiency and fulfill the College’s language requirement (F 10). Upper-level courses lead our minors and majors to explore French and francophone literary texts, films, political discourse, and the media, while honing and enhancing linguistic skills and critical thinking. Many of our majors choose to double major and select courses in our French program that establish connections between language and culture studies and the various disciplines taught at Rhodes.

Beyond the Classroom

French majors and minors are strongly encouraged to study abroad. The French Section offers students a spectrum of opportunities for immersion and study in a francophone country, whether for a summer, a semester, or an academic year. For more information visit the study abroad office.

During the senior year, majors and minors have the opportunity to compete for a post-graduate teaching position as an English conversation assistant in Paris. Read more about this opportunity: Classroom Experience Prepares Maddie Kennell ’21 for Teaching Assistantship In France

Postgraduate and Career

In our global economy, the knowledge of French enhances success in careers as diverse as international law, tourism, and advertising. A good command of French is also important in international business, medical research (only France and the U.S. are at the forefront of advanced AIDS research), the field of communications technology, and the aerospace industry. For further information on careers in French, visit the Career Services office.

Our graduates (French majors and double majors) have fared very well in their careers. A few have been the recipients of prestigious fellowships (Rotary, Fulbright, Rhodes), which involve actively using their French in post-graduate study.  Others have earned doctorates in French from top-tier research universities. Many others are working with French on a daily basis in the fields of law, health and business in the United States, Haiti, Belgium, France, Switzerland, and Francophone Africa.