French, Bachelor of Arts
St. John’s University has a special bond to French history. It was St. Vincent de Paul who in the 17th Century started the Vincentian order whose members later founded St. John’s University. From its inception, St. John’s has supported the French and Francophone programs on its campus and in France through its exchange with French universities and its study abroad programs.
Students in the French program acquire skills in writing and speaking, knowledge of important aspects of French civilization including geography, history, art, social customs, cuisine, business practices and the political life of France. Students become familiar with French and Francophone literature from its origins in the thirteenth century to the present.
Students, especially those who are interested in International Business, may focus on contemporary issues such as Translation, Contemporary France, Business French and practices in the Francophone businesses that lead to the exam of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Paris recognized by Francophone and international businesses around the world. Students who opt for a teaching career are encouraged to take Methodology of Foreign Language Teaching. All are encouraged to participate in the summer and semester study abroad programs in France where they can master important linguistic and social skills through focused internships. There are also internships in this country in local French institutions.
Why Study French? French is the second most frequently taught foreign language in the world after English. 51 member states and governments are members of the International Organization of Francophone countries and 28 countries have French as their official language. French is the only language other than English spoken on five continents. As a global language, it will give you the most choices later on in your studies or your career. (*)
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French is an international language of business, culture, politics and the law and required by many top graduate and professional schools. By majoring in French at St. John’s, you develop the knowledge and skills useful for careers in the arts, education, Foreign Service or international business. Whatever career you choose, your training in French language, literature and culture will open doors for you.
- French companies employ approximately 650,000 Americans and are leaders on the global market.
- In 2000, the U.S. exported more to countries having French as a national language than to countries having any other foreign language. French is the foreign language spoken by our largest trading partner (Canada).
- Each year the French Ministry of Education offers English assistant posts in French schools. There are 1000-1700 positions available for Americans to teach in primary and secondary in all parts of France and the DOM-TOM.
- France has the sixth largest economy in the world and the second largest exporter of agricultural products in the world after the U.S. In recent years, the U.S. has been the largest direct investor in France, and France has been one of the three largest investors in the U.S. France is the fourth largest destination of foreign investments in the world.
- More tourists visit France than any other country in the world.
- France is fourth in research among countries of the Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation (after Japan, Germany, and the U.S.).It is a major world research center in the field of high energy physics.
- The French are a world leader in medical research: the AIDS virus was first isolated by French doctors. They are a leader in medical genetics. (*)
(*) For more information, “French: the Most Practical Foreign Language” by Richard Shryock.Back to top
Global Approach to Education
The programs in France are a unique opportunity for students to immerse themselves in a foreign language and culture, visit world renowned sites and understand better the global dimensions of today's world. Scholarships are available.
Summer Program in France
St. John's students, whether they are language majors or not, can take advantage of language and culture courses offered every summer for credit in France. Courses are taught by an experienced St. John's University professor. The faculty member will also be available to advise students and help them adjust to the new culture. For dates, costs and a list of courses offered, please contact the Office of Study Abroad Program.
Semester/Year in France
Students who are French majors or minors can spend an entire semester/year studying at a French university for full immersion in the targeted language and culture, and for credits towards their undergraduate degree at St. John’s. Courses may be conducted in the foreign language or in English.
Internship Abroad Programs
In addition, French majors and minors can participate in summer internship programs in France through the Trans-Atlantic Student Internship Program (TASIP), as well as in the New York area. Internships are selected to correspond to the student's field of interest and specialty. Scholarships for internships are available.
Service Learning in the South of France
During the summer, an exciting service learning experience in the Drome Provence region in the south of France is now available to St. John's students under the auspices of the French government. The program enables students to live, work, and have fun in a real French environment. Participants contribute to a restoration project at the ancient mediaeval monastery of Ste Croix in the morning, and engage in cultural and sports activities as well as political and cultural debates in the afternoon.