The French program at Grinnell explores the diverse literatures and cultures of the French-speaking world, from France and Belgium to Senegal, Algeria, Guadeloupe, and Québec. In our courses, students examine the many different ways in which these identities and cultures intersect and enrich each other.
In conjunction with their on-campus study, students can go on one of several off-campus study programs in France or Africa.
The Department examines topics and texts from an interdisciplinary perspective. All courses are taught in French, and all provide intensive work in oral and written expression. The Department’s curriculum can be complemented with courses dealing with the French-speaking world which are offered across the College in areas such as History, Political Science, Global Development Studies, Art History, and Philosophy.
Campus life is rich with opportunities to speak French and to discuss French-related topics. The weekly French Table and student-run French House give students a chance to deepen their linguistic skills and cultural knowledge. The French Assistant, a French university student, lives in the French House and leads conversation classes. In addition, the Department hosts prestigious artists, intellectuals, and government figures, thus allowing students to make personal contact with individuals who are shaping contemporary life.
Grinnell French majors have pursued careers in a broad range of fields including international affairs, law, business, non-profit work, medicine, scientific research, the arts, education, and scholarly research.