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Paris, France aerial view

French

Beyond the language. Beyond the art. Beyond the architectural marvels you could recognize in a split second—the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the Louvre—what is it exactly that accounts for the world’s fascination with all things France?

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France, Brussels & more

Historically, the French language and culture have held enormous sway over the West. Today, French maintains its influence as an official language for a broad swath of the world’s population. Since the fall of the Roman Empire and the gradual disappearance of Latin as a living language, French literature and culture has steered European literatures, cultures, and politics. It is now the native or administrative language not only of the 60 million citizens of continental France, but of over 200 million more people in Europe, North and South America, Africa, and the Pacific.

McDaniel’s French program provides courses from the elementary level for students who would like to start learning the language all the way to the advanced level. The faculty teaches language and culture using film, multimedia strategies, and other contemporary sources.

Future Career Paths

With a firm grasp of French language and culture, you’ll be equipped to explore careers in fields such as:

  • Politics
  • Economics
  • International relations
  • International business
  • Education
  • National security
  • Translation

Distinctive Courses

FRE 2515 - French Food For Foodies

This French culture and language course is intended for intermediate level French students. The emphasis is both on French society, language, history, customs and attitude towards food and on the continued development of speaking, writing, reading, and listening skills in French. This course will include, although to a smaller extent, a study of food traditions in French-speaking countries outside of France, such as in West Africa and Québec. 

FRE 1131 - Culture of France

A study of influences that have molded France through the ages, with insights into all aspects of French culture (geography, history, the arts, folklore, gastronomy, etc.).
This course is taught in English.

FRE 1123 - The French-Speaking World

An examination of French-speaking countries outside of Europe – especially Africa and the Caribbean – prior to, during, and after the establishment of French colonial rule. Special attention is given to the ways different cultures have reacted, in economic, religious, sociological, artistic, and literary spheres, to the experience of French hegemony.
This course is taught in English.

Special Opportunities

McDaniel’s women’s basketball team in France.

Studying Abroad

The department requires students majoring in foreign languages to live abroad for one semester. Our recent majors have studied for a semester at Université Saint-Louis, our affiliated campus in Brussels, Belgium; at the Université de Bourgogne-Dijon in France; in Rabat, Morocco or Dakar, Senegal, and at the Université Laval in Québec.

McDaniel Commitment in Action

The McDaniel Commitment—a series of opportunities guaranteed to all students—provides enhanced mentoring and coaching, and ensures every undergraduate student completes at least two meaningful experiential learning opportunities.

Connor Norton, Political Science and Computer Science major, in Belgium during his study abroad experience in Brussels.

There’s no place like Brussels for a Political Science major studying French

Connor Norton's study abroad in Brussels began as an adventure and way to fulfill credits and requirements toward his degree, but it evolved into an experience that would forever change the Honors Political Science and Computer Science major’s life.