France is one of the most beautiful countries in the world and French is one of the most beautiful languages in the world and that's why thousands of students choose to study the language every year.
If you're a student trying to figure out what and where to study, don't stress, you have plenty of time to do the research and figure out exactly what you want to do during your college years.
In this article, we're going to tell you about the things you can do inside and outside of class to guarantee you can study French in college, all the career opportunities you'd have, and the places in the United States where you could go study.
What can you do during high school?
If you believe you want to pursue a career in French then you should start learning the language before you start university because you'll need a little more than basic knowledge to pass your college courses and to get your credits.
Knowing some French will not only prepare you for college-level courses but can also guarantee admission to the program of your dreams. If you declare you want to study French and provide evidence that you've already taken the time to start learning the language, colleges will see that you're a strong and committed candidate.
You should make an effort to take advantage of what your school offers, for example, if they offer French lessons as part of their curriculum you should take the classes or if it's an extracurricular activity you should take the time to become part of the club.
Universities love to see students (or applicants) who take initiative and are passionate about something, and if your passion is languages then you have to make sure you show it to them when you apply.
If you traveled to a francophone country before going to college you can write about your experience in the application essay and explain how your trip to a foreign francophone country and interacting with a different culture influenced your education and drove you into wanting to study French. Colleges love to read about life-changing experiences and growth.
You have to show schools that you've worked hard and that you're aware of the things you need to learn to get a spot in their institution.
Keep reading to find out what classes should you take if you wish to study French.
What can you do outside of high school?
There are many things you can do outside of the classroom to guarantee you learn and improve your French skills. For instance, if you're not doing well in your high school French lessons you should consider studying with a private tutor.
A French tutor could guide you through the things that you find challenging. Let's say you have a hard time speaking French, if you work with a tutor they can give you tips and tricks to help you pronounce the words better.
If you're having a hard time understanding new vocabulary, a tutor will push you into achieving your goals by making you work hard in your studies and giving you the material you can use to study.
Finding a tutor can be a tricky business but you can start looking for someone right here on our website. Superprof works with millions of tutors worldwide on a variety of different subjects.
If you want to have a class online you can search for a francophone tutor or you can search for a tutor who is teaching French in your city and meet for coffee or at the local library three times per week.
However, if you feel like the language department or faculty of your institution isn't working for you, and you don't want to study with a tutor, you can always search for independent language institutes.
Finally, if that doesn't work for you, you can always go abroad —to France— for a semester before enrolling in a university or during the summer after you graduate, find language programs in Paris or Lyon, and learn French there.
To figure out what other things you could do go check our article on how to prepare outside of school to be a French major.
Career opportunities with a French major
The number of options we have can at times be overwhelming, especially when we're young students trying to make it in this world.
That's why it's important to research and consider every option and all the opportunities available to us. Options can range from the arts, history, English, science, math, literature, psychology, to many others. The possibilities are endless, that's why you need to take your time to decide which program you'd like to apply to.
Other things to consider are your passions, talents, what you like studying, places you'd be interested to go to —for example, if you'd like to go work in Paris, France you'd need to learn the language first— and so on.
Our profession and studies are intertwined and they'll define many things in our lives which is why we have to consider both when we're making decisions for our career or education.
If you don't feel ready to make a decision you can always take a course on the subject you're interested in and see if you like it. If you do then you can go to college and get your undergraduate degree in the subject.
Here is a list of the careers you could pursue with an undergraduate degree in French:
- Translator: you could translate documents as a freelancer or work for a multinational company as an official translator.
- Interpreter: attend international events and interpret conferences for foreigners.
- Communications: work in marketing, social media management, advertisement, and use your language skills for everything.
- Diplomacy/ International Relations: apply to organizations like the UN or UNICEF where French is one of the official languages or work for an embassy or ambassador.
- Hospitality: find a job in the hospitality field where your language skills will be appreciated.
- Travel: find travel opportunities by offering services to small travel businesses.
- Education: become a French teacher and help other students whose dream is to go abroad to live in Paris.
Learn more about the different types of careers you could pursue with a French major.
Study French in the United States
If you decide you want to study French or languages but you don't want to go to France (or any of the other francophone countries) you can start searching for schools in the United States.
To figure out if you like a college or university you need to check up their department, faculty, or program of languages, look up every course you'd have to take, read about other students who went there and studied the same thing, try talking to the dean of students, and see what the university offers to its students.
Other things you should check out are the campus, history of the institution, website, programs, and so on. Checking out the campus might sound silly but keep in mind you're going to spend four years there, you must like the place, or else you won't enjoy any year as much.
If the university you're interested in doesn't have a department, faculty, or program for foreign languages then it means you won't be able to study French there. Or you can try to figure out if you can do a minor in French and see what other majors they offer. Always make sure you have all the information before deciding to go somewhere.
To figure out what universities offer a French degree in the United States you can go to a website designed to search those things. The way these search engines work is by imputing the subject and place you're interested in. You can check out all the options that pop up and see if any of them appeal to you.
Keep in mind that these search engines are for undergraduate and graduate degrees and if you're interested in getting a minor in French then you should check directly with the university and see what program or programs they offer.
Find information on what USA universities are best for French majors right here.
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