Why Major in French?
Wondering what you could do with a major in French Studies?
You should know that the major means more than fluency in the language; you gain expertise in another culture, in this case one with a very long, rich and influential history. It offers training in cultural comparison–an important skill in an increasingly connected world–linguistics and rhetoric. For this reason it offers a good background for careers in education, law, international relations, international business, political science, non-profit and other careers.
French Studies majors learn to analyze and write about cultural artifacts: literature, film, and texts or images from popular culture. The major sharpens analytical and communicative skills which employers value. Like other liberal arts degrees, it gives you the skills for a variety of career paths, not just one, which can be limiting as these paths sometimes change unforeseeably.
One advantage to majoring in a modern language is that you learn to write, present and interpret in more than one language. Furthermore, to be able to conduct research in more than one language, gives a tremendous advantage, especially in graduate school.
Some of our majors go on to teach French at the elementary, secondary and college levels, while others teach other disciplines. Some have careers that have nothing to do with French. Several of our alumni have said that fluency in French, while not always leading them directly to a job, offered them opportunities in business and the non-profit sector once their career was underway, working in offices abroad or in the U.S.
Interested in an internship experience abroad? Students who study abroad with Wheaton's affiliated programs in France have access to many quality internship experiences there, and in some cases receive course credit for their work. Ask a member of the French Studies department to talk about some of the useful internships Wheaton students have done in France.