Do you want a career in media, translation, or diplomacy? Can you see yourself delving into international market analysis, working for an NGO, or teaching in a foreign country? As a French graduate, the world’s career opportunities are nearly as diverse as the 220 million people who speak en français. At Cornell, you can immerse yourself in the study of the French language and Francophone cultures.

In 18 days, you might discover a passion for French literature, improve your speaking abilities and engage with Francophone communities. In 18 days, you can retrace the steps of Post-Impressionist painter Paul Cézanne in Aix-en-Provence, France or celebrate Carnaval with a Martinican family in the Caribbean.

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“As a professor, the block plan allows me to really get to know students and tailor course content and class activities to their needs and interests. A few students early in their language studies told me that they began dreaming in French during the block, even though they were still on campus in Mount Vernon. This phenomenon speaks to how intensely they are focusing on their French course and underlines the progress they can make on their language skills in a concentrated amount of time.” -Rebecca Wines, Professor of French

Experiential learning

Your French courses will meet you where you are, whether you are at the beginning, intermediate or advanced level. Experience the French language on the Hilltop or through culturally immersive courses in French-speaking countries.

You can major or minor in French, or you can double major in French and another course of study. Our faculty design experiential learning opportunities that include engagement with local French-speaking communities, digital projects, and study abroad.

Through a Mellon-funded grant, faculty teamed up with Coe College faculty to develop a summer institute for French and Spanish students that benefited the local refugee community. Students assisted French and Spanish speaking refugees and immigrants in navigating the bus system, with job searches and resume writing, and with improving their English speaking skills. This experience gave students valuable insights into potential careers where language skills are needed.

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“Language students are most engaged when their learning is placed into a broader context. We bring that context to the classroom with culturally rich materials such as music, film, art, food, and literature.”-Devan Baty, Professor of French

French facts to text home about

Rooftops in Aix-en-Provence

  • French is the official language of the United Nations, UNESCO, NATO, and 29 countries.
  • French is a fast-growing, global language that is projected to be spoken by over 700 million people by 2050, according to the International Organization of Francophonie.
  • As many as half of basic English words come from French.

Plus, learning a second language like French increases your savoir-faire.

Paxton Andrada

“I took my French language credits with Professor Devan Baty, and she made learning a language in such a short amount of time much more manageable. She had a lot of interactive projects for us to help cement our learning, and she goes above and beyond by providing us with resources so that we can keep up our language skills outside of her course.” -Paxton Andrada ʼ21, International relations major, ethnic studies and French minors