French is the first or second language in more than 40 countries and is spoken by 125 million people around the world, on every continent. More than 1,200 French companies have subsidiaries in the U.S., and France is a world leader in the development of modern telecommunications, a market with explosive growth potential. Bloomberg recently rated French the third most important world language for business, after English and Mandarin Chinese.
Students majoring or minoring in French can expect to be immersed in the language and culture of French-speaking countries, learning the history, culture, and beliefs of French-speaking cultures of Europe, Africa and the Caribbean. Students of French prepare themselves for careers in global business, diplomacy, media, tourism, and the arts.
Many Modern Language students participate in one or more study abroad programs. A popular option for beginning French students is The Abbey Program, located in Pontlevoy, France. Academics at the Abbey focus on a non-traditional interdisciplinary curriculum where students receive hands on experience. Classes for General Education credit are taught in English by French professors, and students can take beginning and intermediate French classes while there. Other popular options for more advanced French students include the International Traveling Classroom, the Magellan Exchange, the Compass Program, and Semester Abroad: Europe.
More and more companies are looking for individuals with global intelligence. With only 3 to 5 percent of the world being native English speakers, the demand for multi-lingual individuals grows daily. Beyond learning a language, Modern Language students gain the ability to communicate with a variety of people and understand cultural differences. Students learn in diverse settings in and out of the classroom - from community work to travel abroad opportunities.
Students in the Modern Language Department focus on professional development through their language studies. All classes provide an emphasis on professionalism, allowing students to use their language skills in different types of environments. Small class sizes promise individual attention; our proximity to a large metropolitan area gives students the opportunity to participate in cultural events, partnerships, and internships all while enjoying the perks of a small community environment found at UW-River Falls.