Language, culture, history, art, and politics... say bonjour to a whole new way of understanding the world.
B.A. in French
At Oglethorpe, our foreign language programs are informed by "the five C's": communication, culture, connections, comparisons, and communities. The French major is no exception. As a French student, not only will you acquire fluency in one of the world's most beautiful languages, you'll also develop a deep understanding of Francophone politics, history, and art. You'll explore the complex and interesting cultures that make up the French-speaking world: spanning the globe from Belgium and Switzerland, to the Francophone nations found in Africa and the Caribbean, to French-Canadian Québec. (And of course, France!)
The curriculum includes courses on:
- French conversation and composition
- French lyric and literary prose
- French language, literature, and culture
- Electives such as Franco-American relations in trade and culture; great French actresses and their film roles; and the 19th century French realist novel
Another unique aspect of Oglethorpe's curriculum: a course that explores the French and Spanish crossroads in the Caribbean and Africa, delving into the relationships between Haiti and the Dominican Republic, Martinique and Cuba, Equatorial Guinea and Senegal, and other pairings. The course brings together literary, cultural, and social exploration with service learning – students conduct interviews with people from these nations, while broadening their understanding of the literature. The course is taught in English, making it more accessible to the OU community as a whole.
Learning might begin in the classroom; but it certainly doesn't end there. As a French student at Oglethorpe, you'll experience immersion in more ways than one.
- Are you the kind of learner who loves to just dive in? You'll be happy to hear that every French major spends at least one semester studying in a French-speaking country. At the Catholic University of Lille, our partner institution in France, your classes will be taught in French, right alongside students who speak French as a first language.
- Roll up your sleeves for service learning, as you work with Francophone communities right here in Atlanta. OU French students collaborate with immigrant and refugee support organizations, assisting in planning and staffing community events and providing tutoring.
- Polish your language skills with monthly French Open Mic nights (open to the public), or take advantage of the treasure trove at Oglethorpe's Weltner Library, which includes a major collection of French films.
- OU French students have interned at the Atlanta International School; the International Rescue Committee; the Georgia Department of Industry; Trade and Tourism; the French American Chamber of Commerce; and the Summer Program of the Catholic University of Lille.
Life After Oglethorpe
You've traveled abroad (with your dog-eared French dictionary by your side). You've completed your coursework and earned your degree. Where will you go next?
- As a French graduate, you can draw on your diverse knowledge, your interdisciplinary background, and your skills in communication and critical thinking to find work in a wide variety of fields. Think museums, libraries, nonprofit organizations, the corporate world, and more. Many French graduates also go on to teach French, or become educators in another field.
- Build on your degree in French by pursuing a graduate degree in French language, literature, or cultural studies, international studies, business, or law, to further expand your career opportunities and level up your resume.
- Previous OU French grads are furthering their educations, studying for a Ph.D. in Religious Studies at Emory University; or earning a Master in Literary Translation Studies at the University of Rochester. Others are rocking their multilingual abilities, teaching English in French lycées through a program offered by the French government. One graduate is working at a theme park in France. Still others are working in finance, health care, and the arts.
- Many French students also choose to complete a double major during their time at Oglethorpe, further expanding their career options with a complimentary focus on business, literature, art history, and more.