Maj
Min

French

About

French language and culture have a unique place in the heart and history of Saint Michael’s, a college founded by scholar-priests from France more than a century ago. We’re a short drive from French-speaking Quebec and the vibrant, cosmopolitan city of Montreal, so you’ll gain fluency not only from your classes, which emphasize conversation, proper grammar, literature and culture, but also from visiting Montreal theaters and museums, socializing with international students, studying abroad in Paris or hosting a French-themed campus radio show. First you’ll take a language placement exam to put you at the right starting-point. Then you either can explore French for the first time or deepen an existing familiarity with French/Francophone (French-speaking) culture. Film, literature, music, food and customs of France, the Caribbean, Africa and Canada all are in the mix for students in this major.

Sample Four Year Plan for French Majors

Fall 
Third Semester French
First Year Seminar
Liberal Studies courses

Spring
Fourth Semester French
Liberal Studies courses

 

Fall
Advanced Conversation
Advanced Communication & Culture
Liberal Studies courses

Spring
Literary Studies in French
Liberal Studies courses

Fall
Study Abroad

Spring
French electives
Junior Seminar
Electives

Fall
French Senior Seminar
Electives

Spring
French electives
Electives

In Depth

From the beginner level onward, our courses are conducted in French with students participating actively. First-year French courses improve your basic language skills (listening, speaking, reading, writing) and introduce you to the cultures of the French-speaking world. Subsequent courses offer further development of intermediate language skills in all areas while also enhancing your understanding of French-speaking cultures.

Some students choose to build proficiency through an Applied Language Component (ALC) or a Conversation course. ALCs allow you to read and discuss, in French, selected texts and materials pertinent to the subject matter of courses taught in English outside the department in a wide variety of disciplines by meeting one extra hour a week with instructors to discuss the texts in Spanish. Conversation courses prepare you to live and get along in a French-speaking society on a practical daily basis.

Advanced Communication and Culture assures that you develop strong writing skills and consolidate your grammar and vocabulary abilities. The goal is to foster students’ critical reflection and self-correction, thereby increasing their independence in the craft of writing.

Advanced culture and literature courses explore a wide variety of historical and contemporary topics pertaining to France and the Francophone world. One literature course provides an overview of different genres and styles and the principal literary movements and authors of French and Francophone literature. Other courses may focus on a single author, work, movement, period, or theme. Examples of elective culture and literature courses include: Medieval France, The Enlightenment, Revolutions and Evolutions in 19th-Century France, French Humor, Immigration in Contemporary France, Intercultural Quebec, African Perspectives, Voices of Resistance in the Francophone World, and others. If you study abroad in France or another French-speaking country for a semester or more, which we strongly encourage, you will complete multiple electives through that experience.

In the capstone course for majors, you’ll use the skills and knowledge gained over the course of your studies on campus and abroad to produce a substantial academic essay written in the language of the major.

We provide attentive, personalized mentorship to our French majors so that they may get the most out of their classes, select a study abroad experience best suited to their goals, find internships, and expand their professional opportunities after graduation.

Careers

  • International Relations (policy analysis, foreign service, diplomacy)
  • International Development (NGO, U.S. State Department, or private sector)
  • International Business, Law, or Journalism
  • Global Public Health
  • Community Health Services
  • Refugee Advocacy and Resettlement Services
  • Immigration Services
  • Library Science
  • Translating and Interpreting
  • Teaching French in the U.S. or at an international school
  • Teaching English in France
  • Peace Corps or Jesuit Volunteer Corps
  • Travel and Tourism Industries
  • Graduate Studies in French literature, linguistics, or second-language acquisition

For more information about career paths and internship opportunities, visit Careers + Internships.

Study Abroad

Study Abroad
The hard part might be deciding which study-abroad experience in a French-speaking culture will best suit your personal interests. One in three Saint Michael’s students in general spends a semester or year abroad. As you might guess, the figure is much higher for Modern Languages students.

Study Abroad Politi Scholarships
A limited number of scholarships are available to support study in countries and programs that the College believes offer optimum learning opportunities. The scholarships are made possible through the Dr. A. Francis Politi International Fund.

Applications for study abroad programs emphasizing experiential learning opportunities (field based research, internships, student teaching, and service learning) or study in a language that is not the student’s primary language will be given priority. Grants will range from $1,000 – $1,800. An academic year student can apply for a maximum of $2,000. The scholarships will be applied to the student’s account.

In Depth

From the beginner level onward, our courses are conducted in French with students participating actively. First-year French courses improve your basic language skills (listening, speaking, reading, writing) and introduce you to the cultures of the French-speaking world. Subsequent courses offer further development of intermediate language skills in all areas while also enhancing your understanding of French-speaking cultures.

Some students choose to build proficiency through an Applied Language Component (ALC) or a Conversation course. ALCs allow you to read and discuss, in French, selected texts and materials pertinent to the subject matter of courses taught in English outside the department in a wide variety of disciplines by meeting one extra hour a week with instructors to discuss the texts in Spanish. Conversation courses prepare you to live and get along in a French-speaking society on a practical daily basis.

Advanced Communication and Culture assures that you develop strong writing skills and consolidate your grammar and vocabulary abilities. The goal is to foster students’ critical reflection and self-correction, thereby increasing their independence in the craft of writing.

Advanced culture and literature courses explore a wide variety of historical and contemporary topics pertaining to France and the Francophone world. One literature course provides an overview of different genres and styles and the principal literary movements and authors of French and Francophone literature. Other courses may focus on a single author, work, movement, period, or theme. Examples of elective culture and literature courses include: Medieval France, The Enlightenment, Revolutions and Evolutions in 19th-Century France, French Humor, Immigration in Contemporary France, Intercultural Quebec, African Perspectives, Voices of Resistance in the Francophone World, and others. If you study abroad in France or another French-speaking country for a semester or more, which we strongly encourage, you will complete multiple electives through that experience.

In the capstone course for majors, you’ll use the skills and knowledge gained over the course of your studies on campus and abroad to produce a substantial academic essay written in the language of the major.

We provide attentive, personalized mentorship to our French majors so that they may get the most out of their classes, select a study abroad experience best suited to their goals, find internships, and expand their professional opportunities after graduation.

Careers

  • International Relations (policy analysis, foreign service, diplomacy)
  • International Development (NGO, U.S. State Department, or private sector)
  • International Business, Law, or Journalism
  • Global Public Health
  • Community Health Services
  • Refugee Advocacy and Resettlement Services
  • Immigration Services
  • Library Science
  • Translating and Interpreting
  • Teaching French in the U.S. or at an international school
  • Teaching English in France
  • Peace Corps or Jesuit Volunteer Corps
  • Travel and Tourism Industries
  • Graduate Studies in French literature, linguistics, or second-language acquisition

For more information about career paths and internship opportunities, visit Careers + Internships.

Study Abroad

Study Abroad
The hard part might be deciding which study-abroad experience in a French-speaking culture will best suit your personal interests. One in three Saint Michael’s students in general spends a semester or year abroad. As you might guess, the figure is much higher for Modern Languages students.

Study Abroad Politi Scholarships
A limited number of scholarships are available to support study in countries and programs that the College believes offer optimum learning opportunities. The scholarships are made possible through the Dr. A. Francis Politi International Fund.

Applications for study abroad programs emphasizing experiential learning opportunities (field based research, internships, student teaching, and service learning) or study in a language that is not the student’s primary language will be given priority. Grants will range from $1,000 – $1,800. An academic year student can apply for a maximum of $2,000. The scholarships will be applied to the student’s account.