College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences > Academics > Modern Languages > Student Resources > Language Resources > French


Jacques Maisonrouge, president of IBM World Trade Corporation, encapsulates the need to learn foreign languages in today's society well: "One major consequence of this internationalization of business has been the increased need of international managers; that is, for managers who, aside from having all the qualities that make good managers of national companies, are also mobile, adaptable and at ease in cultures other than their own. In addition, because they will undoubtedly work outside their home countries at some point in their careers, they should have one or two foreign languages; an understanding of the sociopolitical environment in which they will be working; and a world view that inhibits the growth of chauvinism... Tomorrow's managers will have to demonstrate more awareness of the world around them [and] more flexibility of mind... than ever before. In a world where new knowledge continues to accumulate rapidly, the most valuable managers of all will be those who have learned how to learn." The intellectual shaping of the mind that foreign language acquisition provides for the truly global person of today and tomorrow is well served by French studies.

French is a major world language, counting nearly 200 million speakers spread over five continents in countries where it is either the official or administrative language or the language of artistic or literary expression. French remains the second most frequently taught language in the world after English. Besides enabling its users to have direct access to literary and philosophical masterpieces, a world of art, music, dance, fashion, cuisine and cinema, it is also one of the languages used in conducting the business of international organizations such as the United Nations, UNESCO, the International Monetary Fund, the International Labor Bureau, the International Olympic Committee, the Council of Europe and the European Union. Knowledge of the French language and of French-speaking cultures gives students access to positions in international business, government, scientific research and communications as well as to careers in education, music and the arts.

The French program at DePaul University provides students with a solid background in the linguistic and cultural understanding necessary to life in a global world. The program encompasses the interdisciplinary interests of its faculty. Courses include language and culture, French and francophone literature, civilization, translation, business, film, pedagogy and women’s studies. Students learn in exciting ways as professors work with innovative pedagogies: computer-based learning; e-mail programs with students at French institutions (Ecole des Ponts et Ecole des Télécommunications); teleconferences with the United Nations; video interviews; the Internet; films, etc. The program focuses on the development of critical and creative thinking skills and fosters a multicultural perspective through the study of other cultural and conceptual systems.

To learn more about what students learned and gained through their participation in the French program, please review our French student profiles.

To learn more about some of our students' accomplishments, please click here.
  • "The French major gives you a second set of eyes through which you can see the world and yourself."
  • "My French major really impressed my corporate interviewers!"
  • "Studying in Paris with DePaul University was the most rewarding experience of my life."
  • "I enjoyed the speakers who came to the Department. They shared their lives and experiences with us and that always helped me understand more about the world and myself."
  • "The French for Business class was very helpful because it exposed me to the corporate world of Europe."
  • "My French major allowed me to expand my critical thinking skills."
  • "The more advanced courses I took, the more emphasis there was on being a critical thinker."
  • "Studying French is opening yourself up to another culture, therefore making yourself a more worldly person."
  • "I found that the program of study at DePaul suited me perfectly, and can honestly say that all course experiences were valuable and important to my future studies."
  • France is the fourth largest economy in the world after the U.S., Japan and Germany.
  • France is the second largest exporter of agricultural products in the world after the U.S.
  • The U.S. is the largest direct investor in France and France is one of the three largest investors in the U.S.
  • French companies employ over 400,000 Americans in the U.S.
  • France is the third largest destination of foreign investments in the world.
  • France is the most visited destination in the world with over 60 million tourists a year.
  • France is the fourth largest producer of automobiles in the world (Renault, Peugeot, Citroen and Mack Trucks).
  • France is fourth in research among countries of the Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation.
  • France is a major world research center in the field of high-energy physics.
  • The French are world leaders in medical research (among other things, they isolated the HIV virus).
  • The World Health Organization rated France as one of the most competitive nations in the field of medical care.
  • The French are the world's third manufacturers of electronics equipment (RCA and Motorola are owned by the French).
  • The French are the European leaders in aerospace (Aérospatiale, Arianespace, Airbus, etc.).
  • Most commercial satellites are put into space on French Ariane rockets.
  • The world's fastest train (TGV) is French.
  • The fastest commercial airplane (Concorde) is French (built in collaboration with British Airways).
  • France is the world's second largest builder and exporter of civilian and military aircrafts and helicopters.
  • France has one of the most advanced systems of telecommunications in the world. Fiber optics are a French invention.
  • France is the world's largest manufacturer of television sets (HDTV was invented in France). 

[Adapted, with permission, from Richard Shyrock's website, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and information made available by the French government on the Internet].

Almost anything!  One of the many benefits of a language major is the flexibility afforded to you. You can work in whatever areas you've gained experiences in while in college through part-time jobs, internships, and student organizations.  If you are interested in living/working in France, review French companies and job postings to better understand what is available to you. Review the information listed under Employment Opportunities listed on this webpage and gain experiences relevant to the jobs/companies of interest to you.  You can learn more about employment, what to study (scroll down), and how to make the most of your college experience by reviewing our other webpages.

Language Proficiency Development

Congratulations on your decision to further your French studies. Your command of the language and culture has reached a high level of sophistication. You know by now that successful language learning necessitates searching as often as possible for venues to improve your skills: three hours a week in class are not enough!  The best way to improve your language skills is for you to take charge of your language learning by finding ways to use French outside the classroom. The French faculty has created this list for you to use as you continue your study of the language.
  • Literary Magazine Mille-Feuille ~ Students of French at all levels are given an opportunity to publish in Mille-Feuille, DePaul's yearly French literary magazine for students, faculty and staff. Blind submissions are accepted in January of any given year and are read and evaluated by students registered in French 202 (who are part of the team of co-editors). Final selections are published in that year's edition. A contest is also organized for the cover and all are invited to participate. Once published, the magazine is distributed to interested faculty and administrators and sent to universities and French businesses in town and abroad.  
  • Submit translations for the Napoleon Translations
  • Submit an article in French for Creating Knowledge
  • Submit an article in French for Global Voices
  • Apply for the LAS summer undergraduate reseach grant with a French faculty member
  • Correspond with French-speaking penpals in other countries by using sites such as:
  • Go to various activities at the Alliance Française and become a member.
  • Go to a French movie at Facets, the Music Box, or Landmark Cinemas.
  • Check out the International Film Festival every October and the Contemporary French Cinema Festival every early December (Facets)
  • Rent or check out a French film (the library owns a good collection).
  • Listen to French News on the internet, which includes print, music, and streaming video.   Other sites for French news include News21 and Radio France Internacionale (free, all day, every day)
  • Attend a lecture at DePaul in French.
  • Meet the international French students at DePaul by becoming an International Student Experience Exchange (ISEE) Peer Mentor.
  • Participate in the French Club at DePaul! The French Club is a student-initiated organization that organizes film series, cultural outings to exhibits and other events, dinners in French or Francophone restaurants, French tables (where students meet in local cafés for discussions in French), and sponsors various French events on campus.
  • Join informal gatherings of francophiles and French-speaking people at Portillo restaurant, 100 W. Ontario Street. Wednesdays from 6:15 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., 312.255.0567.
  • Join Groupe Professionnel Francophone, Hotel Renaissance, 1 W. Wacker Drive. The last Thursday of every month, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., 312.409.3721.
  • Attend brunch on the third Sunday of the month for francophiles and French-speaking people at La Crêperie, 2845 N. Clark Street, 773.528.9050
  • Create a network of friends and classmates with whom you can practice your French and share activities through Club Francophone.
The French Program offers the possibility for students to meet with advanced students (French, French-speaking or French majors) for additional help in communicating, both orally and in written form, grammar review, cultural discussions, etc. Appointments need to be made at least 24 hrs in advance by calling or stopping by the Language Learning Center, situated in the Schmitt Academic Center (SAC) room 305, 2320 N Kenmore Ave., Chicago, IL 60614, phone: 773.325.1888. This service is provided free of charge.
  • Sign up for French-related courses, such as HST 271 Old Regime and Revolutionary France, HST 322 French Revolution and Napoleon, PHL 366 Decartes, PSC 245 Foreign Policies of Western Europe, PSC 250 Western European Politics, PSC 340 European Union
  • Go to the Art Institute of Chicago and enjoy the French collection.
  • Apply for an LAS undergraduate summer research grant to work on an aspect of French studies that interests you.
  • Find out more information about French at French Synergy (great for teachers!)

Employment Opportunities 

  • Consider this to be a list of possibilities ~ Bi/multilingual students have the opportunity to work in a variety of settings. The key is to gain experiences relevant to your future career so that employers don't have to spend more time and money to train you.  
  • Find additional internship/job options through DePaul Handshake. Once you log in, click on jobs/internships and review the jobs/internships that have been posted.
  • Gather additional information about the types of internships that are available with the companies you're interested in, research intern applicant requirements, and gain perspective on how to search for other internships related to your career goals and interests. 

The posting of an internship or job does not mean that DePaul University is making any recommendation regarding the internship or job.  Students should understand that DePaul University does not make any representations or guarantees about the accuracy of information regarding internships and jobs included here.  Students are responsible for requesting additional information from a potential internship site or employer as necessary to make internship or employment decisions.

  • Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton
  • French American Chamber of Commerce ~ Offers an international career development program with internships for Americans in French companies. The FACC training program for Americans in France connects qualified young Americans aspiring to work in France with companies interested in hosting them for up to 18 months. Through a partnership with the French Government agency Office des Migrations Internationales, the FACC’s International Career Development Programs sponsor training visas for American students and recent graduates to work in France. Work is paid at least €1,300/month (French minimum wage).
  • Société Générale ~ In your penultimate year of studies, you feel that the world of banking is right for you. But you need to be sure of your choice by gaining exposure to the day-to-day workings of the industry.  Our summer internships, which last between 10 and 12 weeks, take place mainly in London and New York. They will provide you the opportunity both to learn and to demonstrate your strengths and skills. Combining training (both classroom based and on the job), networking and hands-on experience, these internships can facilitate your entry into the industry if you decide this is where you wish to be.  We recruit our summer internships almost a full year in advance of the internship start date.
  • PSA Peugeot Citroën ~ A corporate internship is a key stage in the education of students at secondary school or university. An internship with PSA Peugeot Citroën will develop your technical and behavioural skills. An internship is a period of practical training within an educational programme. It will bring you new knowledge and skills that will help you succeed fully, both in your education and in your future working life.
  • Sanofi ~ If you’re a graduate searching for a job with international exposure, we offer the possibility of developing your career internationally, in a variety of functions and geographies. For European graduates our International Corporate Volunteer Program (VIE) offers an exceptional chance to discover new worlds, while you grow personally and professionally. 12-24 month opportunities are available in Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America, and Middle East where you will have the possibility to contribute your talent in areas such as Finance, Marketing, Purchasing, or Supply Chain. Across different geographies and functions, and across a wide-range of business activities (pharmaceuticals, vaccines, consumer health, animal health) we also wish to promote international opportunities for graduates in other markets, in particular those from emerging markets, in order to broaden their experience in a more global environment.
  • Danone ~ Become part of Danone and join the thrilling experience of bringing health through food to as many people as possible.  Whether you are a fresh graduate or a professional with years of experience behind you, we’ll always be there with the opportunities and challenges you need to keep developing. 
  • Pasteur Foundation ~ Students interested in biomedical research can spend a summer interning at the Institut Pasteur in Paris to get international lab experience. Interns will receive a living allowance of $400 per week for a maximum of $4,000. Travel and housing is not covered by this program, but a $500 subsidy is provided and intended to defray costs of travel and requisite insurance. French knowledge is a plus, but not required.
  • Teaching Assistant Program ~ Apply to become an assistant in elementary and secondary schools in France.
  • Embassy of France ~ Internships at the Embassy of France: American Candidates. Only American candidates, or those candidates studying within an American institution, can apply directly to the embassy for an intern position. The procedure for French citizens is different. The Office of Press and Communication accepts interns adherent to the fall, spring and summer semester schedule. Interns must be currently enrolled, full-time students in an American university to be considered. A proficiency in French and native speaking level in English is required. There is a specific application process candidates much undergo to be considered. These positions are very competitive and candidates are encouraged to submit their applications as much in advance as possible. For all internship queries, please email
  • United Nations ~ The objective of the internship is to give you a first-hand impression of the day-to-day working environment of the United Nations. You will be given a real chance to work with our people. As part of our team, working directly with outstanding and inspiring career professionals and senior management, you will be exposed to high-profile conferences, participate in meetings, and contribute to analytical work as well as organizational policy of the United Nations. Initially you will take on the amount of responsibility you can shoulder; the potential for growth, however, is yours to develop.
  • Interpol ~ Interns will be based at INTERPOL's General Secretariat in Lyon, France, or at one of the Regional Bureaus. It is an opportunity to gain an insight into how an international organization operates and to work in a multicultural and multilingual environment. As well as learning about the functioning of international police co-operation, interns will be able to enhance their educational experience through practical work assignments, thereby developing skills which will be useful in future employment.
  • Little Brothers ~ Friends of the Elderly ~ Serve as an interpreter or translator for Heartland Alliance.  Because of the geographic diversity of Kovler Center's participants, volunteers are continuously needed for oral and written translation in languages such as French, Spanish, Amharic, Tigrinya, Arabic, Nepali, Somali, among others. Volunteers are asked to commit as little as a few hours a week to interpret in person.  
  • Volunteer in France
  • Centre d'Echanges Internationaux ~ Since 1947 the C.E.I has been organising international exchanges for young people on an educative level as well as on a linguistic one. C.E.I. is a non profit organisation and a member of several French and international federations which guarantee quality and reliability. We have a special department dedicated to organise programmes for foreign participants wishing to discover France, its culture and language.
  • World Chicago ~ WorldChicago facilitates professional and personal interactions for international leaders during official visits to Chicago through U.S. Department of State sponsored exchange programs; enhances respect and communication through international exchanges and alliances; and promotes the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois as important centers of business and culture.
Tips on finding jobs in France, from The Local (French news in English), Visa Hunter, and Prospects (career advice from UK).
Monster Jobs
Keli Jobs
Going Global ~ provides country-specific career and employment information. Search for jobs and internships in more than 30 countries and over 50 USA metropolitan areas. View country career guides, get news on H-1B Visa employers and more. This link goes to the Career Center. Scroll down to click on GoinGlobal. Campus Connection login and password required.

Financial Support 

Cultural Vistas - list of fellowship opportunities to work in France.

Our students are successful in obtaining grants and fellowships. In recent years, students have received prestigious Fulbright Scholarships to teach in France and obtained teaching positions in France through the French Ministry of Education. Other students have been awarded Bourses Connaissance de la France from the French government to spend two weeks in France attending cultural events and meeting artists (Avignon International Theatre Festival, Art Festival of Pau, etc). Finally, some students have been able to secure local internships (French Consulate, Alliance Française, The Little Brothers, secondary schools, etc.).

The faculty has directed the work of students recipients of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences undergraduate summer research grant. Projects have included among others the work of playwright Bernard-Marie Koltès, the plays of Hélène Cixous, a comparison of Poe's Telltale Heart to Baudelaire's translation of the short story and Odilon Redon's pictorial representation of it. Faculty has also advised students working on honors theses (Jean Genêt, tragedy, French philosophy and the arts), independent study projects (Napoleon in the DePaul Archives, the work of child psychologist Piaget, contemporary French women Poets, "Assessing culture: an integrative approach through the use of portfolios") and master's degrees in International Studies (Nationalism in the North of France).

  • Fulbright in France
  • American Association of Teachers of French ~ The French Cultural Service offers AATF members who teach at the K-12 levels scholarships for study in France during the summer. The programs provide intensive study of French language, teaching French, and modern French culture.
  • French Embassy in the U.S. ~ The Book Department of the Cultural Services works to promote French and Francophone literature and to encourage English translations of French fiction and non-fiction. The Book Department provides a range of grants to help publishers with rights, translation, and to promote paper and digital editions of translated French work.
  • Université Sorbonne Paris Cité ~ In order to bolster the excellence and internationalization of its nationally-accredited Master’s degrees, Université Sorbonne Paris Cité has set up an international grant program of 200 scholarships of €10 000 for international Master students (MIEM scholarships).  
  • Ecole Normale Supérieure ~ Apply for a grant to study at the prestigious Ecole Normale Supérieure in France.

Do you want to study, research, teach, or work in France? Simply get in touch with French culture in the Midwest? Try these programs for American students, available from the Cultural Services of the French Embassy

  • Eiffel Scholarship of Excellence
  • Scholarship in french cinema
  • Chateaubriand Scholarship
  • Youth and sports grants
  • Internships in France
  • Teaching assistantships in France

Students may review and apply for scholarships available to DePaul students through the Academic Works scholarship application site.

Opportunities available from the Franco American Commission for Educational Exchange
Apply for scholarships with Société des Professeurs français et francophones d’Amérique
  • Les Bourses Jeanne Marandon: attribuées à des chercheurs ou à des étudiants préparant un Ph.D., un M.A., un B.A., pour des séjours dans une université en France ou au Québec d'un maximum d'une année universitaire.
  • La Bourse Jean et Marie-Louise Dufrenoy: attribuée à un(e) étudiant(e) dans une matière scientifique qui se propose de poursuivre pendant une année universitaire ses études en France dans l'année scolaire suivant immédiatement celle pendant laquelle il/elle a obtenu son B.S.
  • Des bourses d'été au Québec: attribuées pour un séjour de six semaines à l'Université Laval à Québec à des étudiants qui préparent un B.A. ou un M.A. en français ou à des enseignants de français d'écoles secondaires américaines.
Imerys Scholarship ~ The Filtration & Performance Additives business group has set up a scholarship and internship program in the United States.
The North America scholarship program, created in May 2010, involves providing financial support to undergraduate and postgraduate students in North America towards the cost of their education and ensuring that each scholar has the opportunity to manage a meaningful internship project.

Study Abroad

For information about how to apply study abroad credit to degree progress, please visit our FAQ webpage under advising.
  • Sciences Po Exchange Program ~ for advanced French speakers who are able to manage very demanding and highly rigorous academic life (ideal for double majors/double counting course requirements and more cost effective than IES)
  • IES Paris ~ for advanced French speakers
  • Alliance France ~ for beginner French speakers
  • Quebec, Canada ~ for beginner French speakers
  • Montpellier, France ~ world of wine program, no French required, but highly recommended
The faculty views a study abroad experience as an essential part of a liberal education and an invaluable asset as students are preparing themselves to become citizens of a society faced with the challenges of globalization. Participation in one of the following programs will be a lifelong investment. Not only do students grow linguistically in a program designed specifically to cater to DePaul's students' needs, but the students' understanding of the sociological features of the culture expand dramatically. After the completion of such a program, students might want to consider pursuing an internship or finding a job or volunteer work to enhance their experience in a French-speaking country of their choice.
Students must meet with the Study Abroad Office to complete non-DePaul study abroad program paperwork in order to transfer credit back to DePaul.  A significant amount of administrative work is involved and students are expected to thoroughly review the content outlined online through the non-DePaul Study Abroad webpages. Students will be held accountable for the material outlined through the Study Abroad webpages, regardless of whether or not they reviewed the material.

We are sure you will be able to come up with more ideas on your own. We expect that you will be able to show progress in French through availing yourselves of outside activities to improve your skills. We will be asking you for your feedback on how you have taken charge of your language learning as you complete your studies. Bonne chance!!! ​​