Why Study French?
Throughout history and to this day, French language and culture have had a great influence on the world.
French artists, writers, thinkers, filmmakers, politicians, fashion designers and philosophers have changed, and continue to change, the way the world thinks. You need only think of Baudin, Monet, Proust, Rousseau, Godard, de Gaulle, Christian Dior or Michel Foucault to realise the impact the French have had on our lives.
French is an official language of all United Nations agencies and a large number of international organisations. What’s more, French remains one of the most widely spoken languages in the world. According to the European Union, 129 million, or twenty-six per cent of the Union’s total population speak French, of whom 65 million are native speakers, with the rest being second-language or foreign language speakers. Outside Europe, French is spoken in many countries in Africa, Asia and the Pacific.
Students of French will develop the ability to communicate in French through the study of the language and various facets of French and Francophone history, culture and society. Graduates of French are therefore equipped to travel to French-speaking countries, and to understand and work with the hundreds of millions of French speakers throughout the world. They are also better able to understand many other cultures, including their own, which have been touched by French culture.
The Department has a history of prize winners and still today offer a number of scholarships and prizes to undergraduate students. The Student French Club is very active on campus, including producing many performances and plays.