French & Francophone Studies

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.

Oema Rambharose '15

Oema Rambharose '15

From learning from the most amazing and fun professors, to figuring out the etiquette of French cuisine and how to survive hour-long dinners, from learning how to make crêpes, to exploring the way of life in Rennes, France, and from becoming a part of my host-mom's family, to writing thesis, my experiences with the French Department have definitely been the most defining moments of my college career and beyond. These experiences have forced me out of my comfort zone, made me fall in love with the French culture, taught me about our own culture, and even allowed me the chance to go teach English at a French University."

French is the official language of more than 140 million people, including residents of Quebec, located just a four-hour drive from Union.

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.

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 can live with host families abroad and attend our film nights 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.