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French Studies

Did you know...?
  • 49% of global recruiters listed French as the language most in demand after English for 2017 compared to 21% for Spanish. According to Devex, "If you speak French, you are well positioned for a job this year."
  • Students can study abroad during their sophomore, junior or senior years! Learn more at the Center for Global Education.

French Cultural Events

Join us to learn outside the classroom!

Six FREN 311 students attend a talk by Christiane Taubira, France's Minister of Justice from 2012-2016, at the Alliance Française in Minneapolis. L to R: Jake Debes, Mapy Mejia-Flores, Sherry Wang, Omar Mora, Jessica Torrison, Emma Murphy

FALL 2017

La Table Française / French Table

Become more acquainted with the French culture while practicing your language skills with other French students in a relaxed environment. Casual conversation while eating dinner! 

Tuesdays  •  5:30-6:30 PM
Alternating between the Refectory & Gorecki Dining Hall
CSB: Sept 12 & 26 / Oct 10 & 24 / Nov 14 & 28
SJU: Sept 19 / Oct 3 / Nov 7 & 21

Tournées Film Festival

Film showings this semester will include Noire de..., Fatima, Avril et le monde truqué, Dernières nouvelles du cosmos, Frantz, and Loin des hommes.

Wednesday, Oct. 4: Noire de... SJU Art Building 102, 7:15 pm
Black Girl is the story of Diouana, an illiterate nursemaid from Dakar who follows her French employers to the Côte d’Azur with dreams of discovering France.

Tuesday, Oct 10: Fatima, Gorecki 204, 7 pm
A story that touches on a variety of essential issues: everyday racism, illiteracy, the challenges of the French university system, and the clash between traditional, older immigrant generations and their assimilating children.

Friday, Oct 20: Avril et le monde truqué, SJU Little Theater, 7:15 pm
An animated adventure film, April and the Extraordinary World is not only an engrossing, wildly imaginative entertainment for the whole family but a slyly feminist statement, an ode to science, and an earnest plea for world peace.

Tuesday, Oct 24: Dernières nouvelles du cosmos, Gorecki 204, 7 pm
A documentary about a severely autistic woman who is also an extraordinarily gifted poet, Latest News from the Cosmos confirms Julie Bertucelli’s place as one of the great humanist documentary filmmakers of the moment.

Thursday, Nov 2: Frantz, SJU Art Building 102, 7:15 pm
With this stirring adaptation of Ernst Lubistch’s classic melodrama Broken Lullaby, François Ozon, a master of cinematic dissemblance, delivers a sumptuous period piece that asks whether a lie can ever be healthier than the truth.

Wednesday, Nov 8: Loin des hommes, Gorecki 120, 7 pm
Algeria 1954. [...] a gripping meditation on the fate of individuals tossed to and fro by sociopolitical forces beyond their control [...] While Far from Men is essential viewing for its insight into a conflict whose effects continue to be felt, it is first and foremost a universal story of civilians faced with the absurdity of war.

French Mass

Dec. 10, Sacred Heart Chapel, Saint Benedict's Monastery. More details to follow.

Watch for more events such as French Game Night!


Festival Lyrique

2018 date TBA, HCC Alum Hall, CSB.

It can be a poem, a song, original or learned, whatever you choose in French! RSVP to [email protected] if interested in performing.

Celebrating Scholarship & Creativity Day - TBA

The Department of Languages and Cultures invites you to attend our students' senior capstone presentations and research.

** Watch for French Club Events! Crepe nights, French Park!, and more...

List of French T.V. Series Available on VOD Platforms

11 Top Reasons To Take French

  1. Be understood in 43 countries across five continents and by over 200 million people.
  2. Knowing French makes you more competitive in the national and international job market in disciplines like business, medicine, aviation, law, automotive, distribution and luxury goods.
  3. As the third most common language on the Internet, you can connect with pen pals, visit foreign websites and find exchange student opportunities.
  4. You will develop your critical, creative thinking and problem solving skills. French also provides the base for more than 50% of the modern English vocabulary, which can help you perform better on standardized tests.
  5. Open the doors to art, music, fashion, food, architecture and literature.
  6. Learning French helps you learn other Romance languages like Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Romanian.
  7. Enhance your travel experiences while discovering a new appreciation for other cultures in countries like: France, Canada, Switzerland Monaco and many African nations [as well as in the Caribbean, Pacific Islands and Indian Ocean territories].
  8. Use French to pursue studies [or service work] in francophone countries.
  9. French is a soft, melodious, romantic language with a relatively quick learning curve.
  10. Promote language diversity throughout the world.
  11. French is an official working language of the UN, NATO, UNESCO, the International Olympic Committee, the European Union, the International Red Cross and much more!

(From American Association of Teachers of French)

Common Curriculum Learning Goals for French

Students will:

  • Demonstrate a minimum proficiency level of Intermediate-Low, as defined by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, in at least two of the four language skills (listening, speaking, reading, and writing). Such a level means that students have a functional command of the target language that allows them to communicate limited basic needs and ideas, and negotiate simple situations.
  • Demonstrate awareness of a variety of cultural contexts in which the target language is used, and have a functional command of the basic rules of social interaction in that language.

Study Abroad in Cannes

"This study abroad experience helped me grow in ways I did not conceive of, opened up blind spots in my worldview that I would have otherwise ignored, and propelled me into a hopeful future."

Gabriel Kwan, '18
English-French Major
SJU Student Ambassador to France, 2016

Learn more!

Alum Spotlight

Katie Tomten '12

During her time at CSB, Katie appreciated the French studies department for its multidisciplinary approach to learning. “The great thing about the program is that it wasn’t completely centered on France and Eurocentric populations,” she says. “It widened my perspective by including all of the [French-speaking] countries." This fall, Katie will head to Massachusetts where she will attend the education policy and management program at Harvard Graduate School of Education. Read her story here.

French Teaching Assistantship

Three French majors (pictured from L to R: Ruth Becker '17, Meg Anderson '17 and Kaitlin Heidelberger '17) were selected to serve as Teaching Assistants of English in schools in France during academic year 2017-2018. Ruth will be headed to the Nantes region, Meg to the Versailles region and Kaitlin to the Caen region. Félicitations à toutes! Et, bon courage!!

Apply here or get more information on the French Teaching Assistantship.

Related Links

Contact Us

Mary Niedenfuer
Department Coordinator
CSB Richarda P15
SJU Quad 253A
[email protected]