French Studies

Take the French Placement Exam

Did you know...?

Students can study abroad during their sophomore, junior or senior year! Learn more at the Center for Global Education.
French skills are in high demand on today’s national and international job markets.
  • France is one of the world’s largest economies and a leading destination for foreign investment.
  • The United States shares a close business partnership with France in sectors of technology, medicine, banking, defense, publishing, and tourism.
  • Forty-nine percent (49%) of global recruiters listed French as the language most in demand (after English) for jobs in global development for 2017 compared to 21% for Spanish. According to Devex, "If you speak French, you are well positioned for a job..."
  • French is the third most in-demand foreign language among U.S. employers (ACTFL report).
  • The demand for French skills in the U.S. more than doubled between 2010 to 2015 (NAE Report).
French is the fifth most spoken language in the world! 
  • French is the official language of 32 nations and is widely spoken in over 55 countries across five continents.
  • More than 300 million people speak French on five continents.
  • Around 80 million out of these 300 million speakers are native.
  • French is currently spoken by 1.3 million people in the U.S.
  • By 2050, the number of French speakers in our world could rise to as many as 700 million.
  • French is the only language, aside from English, that is taught in every country in the world.
  • Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, is the second-largest French-speaking city (after Paris)—followed by Montreal, Canada and Brussels, Belgium.
  • Read more here--in French!

Funding Opportunities

Gaida Scholarship
(for Juniors & Seniors)

French majors enrolled at the College of Saint Benedict are eligible to apply for the Dr. & Mrs. Joseph B. Gaida & Family Scholarship for French. Recipients are chosen on the basis of scholarship, strength of academic purpose, and financial need. Amounts ranging from $2000 to $2400 are divided among scholarship recipients every year.

Follow this link for more information on the Gaida Scholarship for French.

The scholarship is awarded every spring on the basis of scholarship, strength of academic purpose, and financial need, and is open to all French majors enrolled at the College of Saint Benedict who will be juniors or seniors in the Fall semester of a given year.


(for Senior undergrads)

Every year, approximately 1,200 teaching assistantships are offered for American citizens and permanent residents to teach English in public schools across all regions of metropolitan France and in the overseas departments.

Teaching schedule: 12 classroom hours per week
Monthly salary for teaching assistants: approx €790 NET

Applications will open again in mid-October 2021 for the 2022-2023 school year at The deadline for 2022-2023 applications will be announced. 

12 Top Reasons To Take French

  1. The demand for French skills in the US more than doubled between 2010 to 2015. (NAE Report)
  2. Be understood in 43 countries across five continents and by over 300 million people.
  3. 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.
  4. As the third most common language on the Internet, you can connect with pen pals, visit foreign websites and find exchange student opportunities.
  5. You will develop your critical, creative thinking and problem-solving skills. French also provides the base for about 45% of the modern English vocabulary, which can help you perform better on standardized tests.
  6. Open the doors to art, music, fashion, food, architecture and literature.
  7. Learning French helps you learn other Romance languages like Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Romanian.
  8. Enhance your travel experiences while discovering a new appreciation for other cultures in countries like: France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Canada, Switzerland, Monaco, Congo, Mali, Senegal, and in the Caribbean, Pacific Islands and Indian Ocean territories.
  9. Use French to pursue studies [or service work] in francophone countries.
  10. French is a soft, melodious, romantic language with a relatively quick learning curve.
  11. Promote language diversity throughout the world.
  12. French is an official working language of the UN, NATO, UNESCO, the International Olympic Committee, the European Union, the International Red Cross, international courts and much more!

(From American Association of Teachers of French)