Why Study French?
Worldwide, French is the most widely taught second language after English because of its importance: only French and English are spoken on all five continents! There are over 77 million first language speakers, as well as 51 million fluent speakers, 61 million occasional speakers and 110 million students of the French language! French is an official language of 54 countries and dozens of international organizations, including the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the International Red Cross, the International Olympic Committee and Amnesty International.
What are French classes like at CSUSB?
What can you expect from French courses taught at CSUSB? First of all, you will learn to speak the language! Courses at all levels of the curriculum will encourage you to use French, to the best of your ability, in class. Our instructors are all experienced in creating classroom environments that will encourage and stimulate you to speak French with confidence. Because our courses are not overcrowded, you can expect to receive individual attention from your instructor and many, many opportunities to get to know your classmates well (using French!). Depending on the course, readings, papers, movies and other assignments may also be in French. Even if you have no experience in learning a foreign language, try studying French. Our faculty will show you how rewarding language learning can be!
Thinking about a French Minor or Major?
Bravo! Upper division courses (numbered 3000 or above) allow you to move beyond learning the language to studying different aspects of French and Francophone (French-speaking) cultures. Although there are a number of skill-based courses offered-- such as French Translation, French Phonetics, Introduction to Reading & Interpretation, and labs in French Conversation and Writing, you will also learn about French and francophone cinema, music, art, history, literature, French gourmet culture, intercultural communication for business, and other content areas. Additional courses are offered online through the French Consortium-- giving you the opportunity to work with talented faculty from four other CSU campuses. Students pursuing a B.A. in French can choose from one of two tracks: French Language and Cultures (23 units) or French Studies (11 units). The latter is specifically designed for students pursuing a double major in French and another discipline (or a triple major). Those pursuing a major in another discipline may choose a Minor in French (19 units).
Graduates of our program have found successful careers in a variety of fields including education, translation, government service, business and the arts. A specialization in French is also a very useful addition to a number of degrees such as Art, International Business, History, Philosophy, Political Science, Liberal Studies and other disciplines. CSUSB alumni who have gone on to graduate school at reputable schools such as Middlebury College in Paris and CSU Long Beach have reported that their French coursework was a valuable preparation for the rigors of graduate studies.
Study/Work Abroad Program
“Studying abroad boosted my confidence, opened my eyes to limitless possibilities, improved my language skills, broadened my global perspective and gave me friends that, to this day, are among the best I have” - Vanessa Jong
Thinking about studying abroad?
There are many exciting opportunities to study in France or a French-speaking country. The CSU International Program offers year-long programs in 70 countries world-wide, with French language instruction available in France and Quebec (Canada). In France, you can study in Paris or in Aix-en-Provence. Previous study of French will give you the opportunity to take a wider variety of courses when in France. To date, the Switzer Scholarship had funded over $100,000 to help CSUSB students study in France and Quebec.
Year Abroad through CSU-IP
The California State University has an excellent International Program (IP) with study abroad opportunities for students at over 25 locations throughout the world. Students interested in learning about French and francophone cultures can study in Aix-en-Provence (France), Paris (France) or Québec City (Canada). For more information about the IP program, visit the California State University International Programs website.
Students are enthusiastic about their International Program experiences:
“Studying in France changed my life” (Cynthia Oliveros), “Since I was an art history double-major, France was filled with treasures and artworks I could explore” (Kim Clifton); “Had I not gone abroad, I would not have had the confidence to teach French language and culture and I undoubtedly would not have been entrusted [to teach French at Redlands East Valley High School]” (Jennifer Baldwin).
In the last 10 years, over 40 students have studied French through IP.