Majoring in French
Major in French at Connecticut College and you will develop linguistic and cultural fluency, regardless of your starting point. The benefits of studying French extend far beyond knowledge of the language and the Francophone world. When you speak only one language, it's hard to grasp the extent to which language itself shapes our thoughts, perceptions and values. As a French major, you step outside your own linguistic framework and acquire a different view of the world. You learn to recognize and value cultural differences and to look at issues from different perspectives. With this understanding, you are well-prepared for advanced studies and career opportunities in a limitless range of fields.
Many courses are co-offered with other academic departments, including anthropology, film studies, and gender and women’s studies. Classes are small and faculty are attentive. You are challenged to hone your critical thinking skills and augment your language study with the perspectives and analytical modes of many disciplines. Some French majors pursue a certificate with one of the College's interdisciplinary centers or with the museum studies program.
International opportunities and study abroad
You can hone your language skills on campus in the language lab or at the French table in Knowlton Language House's international dining room. As a French major, you study abroad for at least one semester and possibly an entire year. Many students go to France, but in recent years, others have studied literature and native crafts in Senegal and Cameroon, family health and economic development in Mali, and environmental issues in Madagascar.
What can you do with a majorcertificate in French?
Here are some of the positions our graduates have gone on to hold:
Q: Why major in French?
A: When I arrived at Connecticut College, I had four years of high-school French and had been to France on a two-week exchange program. I heard good things about the French Department's professors and the attention they give to the majors.
Q: What were your favorite classes?
A: "French Cinema" and "Introduction to Literary Analysis." The cinema course was all in French. We learned how films are made, why certain angles were used for certain images and the points that filmmakers tried to get across in a certain style. "Introduction to Literary Analysis" was demanding, with a lot of work. But I came to appreciate a subject in which I hadn't had much experience.
Q: Did you study abroad?
A: The summer after my junior year I did a two-month internship with a wine marketing company in Montpellier, France. I worked almost entirely in French and was given a lot responsibility. I traveled around France to wine functions. The internship helped me understand how businesses are organized and run in France.
- The French Cultural Experience
- Words in Translation
- Civilization through Conversation
- French Cinema
- Cities on the Screen: Constructing Urban Space in the Cinema
- New Wave Film
- Then and Now
- Black Blanc Beur Cinema/ Literature
The Role of Language in Shaping Emotional Phenomenology
By: Norah Hannel '14
Advising Faculty: Derek Turner
The Impact of French Culture on the LGBT Movement in France
By: Lauren Potter '14
Advising Faculty: Jeffrey Cole
Historicizing Vichy: Holocaust Memory and French National Identity
By: Megan Maffucci '13
Advising Faculty: Catherine Spencer and Marc Forster