Bienvenue! the department of French Studies where French has been taught since 1853.

Why study French?

Studying French (or any foreign language, for that matter) helps you to understand how language works and to develop a range of communicative, organizational, critical and creative skills that are transferable to other areas. Knowing another language opens up a whole new world of cultural experiences, and by doing so fosters cross-cultural understanding.

French Studies, as a major in an Arts Degree, is not a professional qualification, but being skilled in another language such as French is the foundation for professions such as interpreting, translating and teaching, as well as being a valuable asset to a career in business, administration, diplomacy or the tourism industry.

Former students have become diplomats, interpreters, translators, aid workers, festival and event managers, teachers, television presenters, lawyers, journalists, and publicists. In all these jobs, the ability to read and speak French and to understand the culture has been an advantage.

Travel in a foreign country is a much more rewarding experience when you can speak to local residents, make new friends and experience a different culture. For this reason, the Department of French Studies provides students interested in adding a global perspective to their degree with the opportunity to study abroad for one or two semesters at the most prestigious Francophone universities in France (e.g. Paris, Lyon, Grenoble), Switzerland (Geneva and Lausanne) and Canada (Montreal and Ottawa). The Department of French Studies encourages students from the Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced streams to incorporate an exchange semester into their degree; this life-changing experience provides a confidence booster and enhanced fluency in French, as well as exchange credit points that contribute to their degree. For students not able to spend a full semester overseas, there may be the opportunity to participate in an intensive short-term program with one of our exchange partners. International Exchange

The exchange experience is also an ideal time to start thinking about embarking on Honours in French Studies upon your return. It is a good opportunity to decide on a thesis topic and start your research. Honours

What is French Studies?

The French language is one of the most widely spoken European languages and the most common second language amongst Australians from many different origins and backgrounds. French culture is diverse and pervades many aspects of our daily life. To understand and appreciate a different culture in depth and to communicate with its members requires a thorough knowledge, which can only be achieved by those who learn the language in its cultural context.

We aim to give you as wide an experience as possible of different aspects of French Studies. At the same time as developing fluency in your use of the language you will be increasing your understanding of the culture and its people.

All units of study use French language material and the most up-to-date methods of teaching, such as Computer Assisted Language Learning. Most classes are conducted in French. In the early years students can take units of study that give a broad overview of modern France. In later years they can select one of the four strands of specialisation:

  1. French Linguistics
  2. French Literature and Cinema
  3. French Society and Culture
  4. Francophone Studies

From second year, students wanting to further their studies in French are encouraged to take extra units of French or to study at Honours level. In addition, students in certain circumstances are able to take units of study in France, which count towards their Undergraduate degree.

Several scholarships are available annually, which make this possible. Visit the Scholarships office site for more information.