French Program, Department of Romance Languages

As one of the six official languages of the United Nations, the French language maintains a significant role in global diplomacy, international trade and economics, healthcare, science, sports, and art. An estimated 220 million people around the world speak French, and it is the official language of 25 countries.

A major in French extends students’ liberal arts education and multicultural competence by studying Francophone cultures, civilizations, and literature. In their studies, students develop and enhance their oral communication skills, written language skills, analytical thinking, and familiarity with diverse perspectives which are sought by employers and graduate schools today.

The French section of the Department of Romance Languages offers a variety of courses, on campus and abroad, for both majors and non-majors who are beginning, intermediate, or advanced speakers. To expand students’ exposure to French beyond the classroom, the French section hosts a weekly French conversation table, film series, and sponsors a French honor house (Maison française). Additionally, St. Olaf benefits from a number of international students from Europe and Africa whose first language is French.