The Department of World Languages and Literatures offers a range of French language courses at the beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels, and a variety of courses on French and Francophone cultures, history, literature, and cinema. Additionally, students have opportunities to complete internships in French and study commercial French for international trade, which prepares them for the Business French diploma exam, or Diplôme de français professionnel (DFP), offered on the SMU campus.
Why Study French?
1. French is one of the world's major languages
More than 220 million people speak French. It is the second most widely studied foreign language after English. French is also the only language aside from English that is taught in every country in the world.
2. French is the language of international relations, medicine, technology, and trade
French is an official language of the UN, EU, UNESCO, NATO, the International Olympic Committee, the International Red Cross and international courts. French is the language of the three cities where the EU institutions are headquartered: Strasbourg, Brussels and Luxembourg.
3. French will help you get a job
French companies dominate international banking and finance, and pharmaceutical, luxury consumer goods, and fashion industries. Many major companies, including LMVH (Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton), L'Oréal, Michelin, and Danone are headquartered in France. Dallas ranks second in the United States among cities with major French companies (second only to New York City), and a knowledge of French is a major asset in seeking employment. SMU offers courses in professional and business French that will prepare you for the job market.
4. France is the world’s top tourist destination
France attracts more than 79.5 million visitors a year. The ability to speak even a little French makes travel easier and more enjoyable, and offers insight into French culture. French also comes in handy when travelling to Africa, Switzerland, Canada, Monaco, the Seychelles and other places.
5. France has a rich cultural heritage
France is considered to be one of the birth places of democracy. Thinkers from the 17th century onward (including Rousseau, Montesquieu, Voltaire, Hugo, and Sartre) paved the way for democratic thought, while the French Revolution produced the first democratic Republic in the modern world. Cinema was invented in France and SMU offers film-based language classes that allow students to improve their language skills while learning more about French culture.
"10 Good Reasons for Learning French" (France Diplomatie)