Studying French Abroad

French Studies Major Classes

Because of the Departmental Residency Requirement, French Studies majors may count up to 18 credits taken abroad toward their major. French Studies minors may count 9 credits. When choosing programs and courses, you should be attentive to the balance of language and culture/literature classes available, since both the major and the minor require a certain balance between the two fields.

The French section sets the following parameters for courses abroad to count toward the major or minor in French Studies:

  • Courses must be taught in French.
  • Course topics must focus on France or the francophone world. An integrated course at a French university on Hollywood Westerns may be interesting, but it will not count toward a French major/minor.
  • Most programs require that all students take a grammar/language course. These language courses must be at the advanced level, i.e., they must transfer as 3xxx-level courses. You should be aware that some programs do not allow coursework beyond the level of FREN 3016 or even FREN 3015, and if you have already completed these courses on campus such programs are not for you.
  • Courses must not replicate work already done on campus, and vice versa. You can only count one phonetics course toward a major or minor, one conversation course, one advanced writing course, etc. (For equivalencies between the Montpellier program and French on campus, see below. Students should also be aware that if they duplicate coursework, the duplicate credits may be subtracted from their total credits for graduation).
  • Multiple courses on related cultural topics are acceptable, as long as they are taught by different instructors and do not have the same syllabus.
  • Students may count no more than four credits of internship toward a major or minor.

Learning Abroad Programs

The French section accepts courses from the following learning abroad programs, provided the courses fulfill all the criteria above. (Many programs also offer elementary and intermediate-level language classes, and some programs also offer courses taught in English. No such courses will be counted toward the major/minor.) Certificate students should bear in mind that they must complete at least one content-based course, i.e., a course taught in French on a cultural, historical, or literary topic. Language courses do not fulfill this requirement.

Semester and Academic Year:

  • Study Abroad in Montpellier Integrated Program
  • Study Abroad in Montpellier Intensive Language Program
  • MSID International Development in Senegal
  • CIEE Paris, French & Critical Studies program only
  • National Student Exchange at a French-speaking university in Quebec

May and Summer:

  • Study Abroad in Montpellier Advanced Summer Program
  • Study Abroad in Montpellier Intensive French Summer Program

Montpellier students who have already completed FREN 3015 on campus must enroll in the Integrated Studies program or the Advanced Summer program. They may not enroll in the Intensive Language Program, since they are at the level where they need to study culture intensively, and these language-focused programs will not allow them to do so.

Montpellier Course Equivalencies

All students arriving in Montpellier take a placement exam to determine the level of grammar/language course they will take. You should take this exam seriously and do your very best, in order not to squander a semester relearning material that you already know and not learning anything new! Students who score particularly low on the placement exam will be given a tutor and required to complete extra language work in order to catch up to the level at which they should be performing.

The grammar course taken by students in Montpellier will be treated as the equivalent of whichever on-campus language course would be next in each student’s program. Therefore, a student who had completed FREN 1004 on campus and then spent a semester in the Montpellier Integrated Program would be considered to have completed FREN 3015, in addition to four electives. The same student who enrolled in the Montpellier Language and Culture Program would have MONT 3015 and MONT 3016 appear on his/her academic record, and would have fulfilled the FREN 3015 and FREN 3016 requirement, in addition to three electives.

  • MONT 1001-1004 = FREN 1001-1004
  • MONT 3014 (Phonetics) = FREN 3014
  • MONT 3015 = FREN 3015
  • MONT 3016 = FREN 3016
  • MONT 3018 (Oral Communication) = FREN 3018
  • MONT 3505 (Academic Writing) = FREN 3017W
  • MONT 3303 (Internship) = FREN 3896

FREN 3010 is a generic course designator used as an equivalent for the Grammar and Methodology course taken in Montpellier by students who have already completed FREN 3016. It counts toward the major or minor as a language elective.

The equivalency of all other Montpellier courses will be determined on a case-by-case basis by a departmental advisor. Students must meet with this advisor once their grades appear on their academic record, but not later than six months following their return to campus.

Teaching in France

The French Ministry of Education organizes an academic-year program for US citizens offering assistant English-language teaching positions in French schools. Students who take advantage of this opportunity most often have already completed their undergraduate degree. Current information is available via the French Embassy.