The French and Francophone Studies major and minor can set students up for success in careers, graduate school admissions and national fellowship programs, especially when it is combined with an immersive study abroad experience. During their time at Holy Cross, French majors and minors often enroll in additional programs such as international studies, economics, political science, Africana Studies, and Peace and Conflict Studies, depending upon their professional goals.
Holy Cross French majors, especially those who have studied abroad their junior year, routinely return to France to participate in the Teaching Assistant Program in France (TAPIF), which offers them the opportunity to work in the country for an academic year and teach English to French students of all ages. Many French majors and minors also enroll in postgraduate programs, medical school, and law school, while others pursue careers in a variety of fields immediately after receiving their Holy Cross degree.
Access to information about postgraduate scholarships and graduate programs at appropriate academic and professional schools is readily available through the Office of Distinguished Fellowships and Graduate Studies; the Center for Career Development offers suggestions for more immediate opportunities after graduation.
Influence on the World
French is one of the most influential languages in the world. Consider the following:
- An estimated 300 million people speak French worldwide, according to the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie.
- Proficiency in French increases your job prospects. Many international jobs require or prefer candidates with French skills.
- French is an official language of many international organizations. It is an official language at the European Union, the United Nations, the Red Cross, the International Monetary Fund, UNESCO and the Olympic Committee.
- France is one of the largest economies in the world. According to the French Treasury in the U.S., “French companies now employ close to 730,000 people in the U.S., making France the 3rd largest foreign source of employment in the U.S. 213,300 of those jobs are in the manufacturing sector. Similarly, American companies employ half a million people in France.”
- Canada, whose official languages are French and English, is a primary consumer of U.S. exports. Products are marketed in Canada and companies need French-speaking employees.
- French, Louisiana creole and Haitian creole are widely spoken in the United States, especially in the states of Louisiana and Florida, and in many New England states, including Massachusetts, Maine, and New Hampshire.
- French is used for government or business in over 20 African countries, especially in North Africa (the Maghreb), West Africa and Central Africa.