Did you know that French is unique among the modern languages of the world in its influence on English? Our classes will help you understand French’s many contributions to world cultures.
"My term abroad in Rennes was incredibly enriching. I became immersed in French culture, language, cinema, politics and history. I had great support from my Union French professor and my host family. As a result, I am more globally aware and understand the importance of getting to know another culture."Stefanie Charles '12
From Paris to Senegal and from Martinique to Quebec – just a few hours’ drive from Union College – French is the official language of more than 140 million people. French speakers and Francophone cultures contribute greatly to our diverse and interconnected world. As we study figures from Rousseau to Sartre, from Hugo to Simone de Beauvoir, from Truffaut to Césaire, you will see that Union offers a variety of French courses tailored for language competency, cultural proficiency and critical thinking.
As a Union College French and Francophone Studies major, you will interact with a talented pool of professors who know your name (in two languages!) and be part of an exciting academic program that encompasses language, culture and literature courses.
You will also take part in our term abroad, offered every fall in Rennes, France – where Union students have been studying since 1969 – or pursue a mini-term regularly offered on the French-speaking island of Martinique and in Senegal. On all three terms, you’ll be accompanied by a Union faculty member.
From our basic and intermediate language courses to our upper-level courses including a Senior Project, we examine a broad spectrum of French and Francophone topics including women’s and gender studies, theater, literature and cinema. Our classes emphasize the importance of global awareness as a key element of 21st century life.
To develop and maintain your linguistic skills and cultural proficiency, you live with host families abroad or in a language-oriented theme house on campus. You can participate in French Club activities and French Table, and attend presentations throughout the academic year by renowned speakers, poets, artists and performers.
French is the only language other than English named as an official language on five continents. Unique alongside English, French is also the official working language of worldwide organizations such as the United Nations, UNESCO, NATO, the International Olympic Committee and International Red Cross. Knowledge of French is invaluable for international business and law, diplomacy, journalism and many other fields.