Why should you study French?

alt text for the imageCan 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.

“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, even though they were still on campus. This 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

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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.

Learning languages on the block plan

What's it like to study French on the block plan? You might be surprised to find out what you can cover in 18 days.

French facts

  • 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.

Study French in French-speaking countries

There’s no better way to learn French than to travel to places where French is spoken. One Course At A Time allows you to take block-long courses led by Cornell French faculty every other year to Francophone destinations such as Aix-en-Provence, France; Fort-de-France, Martinique; and Morocco. You can also study abroad for a semester or a year through a variety of approved programs, around the world, such as Dakar, Senegal; Toulouse, Paris, or Nice, France; Geneva, Switzerland; or Madagascar.

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. Our faculty design experiential learning opportunities that include engagement with local French-speaking communities, digital projects, and study abroad.

French video game development

Kat Sayrs '17

French and computer science double major

"I took a course abroad in Martinique with Professor Baty during Carnaval. The subject was Language, Landscape, and Identity in the French Caribbean. I studied abroad in Aix-en-Provence, France, at Aix-Marseille University. I took classes related to French language and literature, one in creative writing, and one in French business. It was an absolutely amazing experience."

Learn more about the block plan