Virtually all our majors spend a semester in a French-speaking country, as do many other students who are not specializing in French. Students study in a variety of countries, and the college is affiliated with a number of carefully selected off-campus programs which reflect the department's focus on the French-speaking world as a whole.
All of these programs emphasize immersion in the language and the culture of the country: students generally live with families and, besides taking formal academic courses, are involved in a wide range of experiential activities, including community service.
Many of the programs offer the opportunity to do internships, and all integrate field trips and aspects of the local area into students' course-work--the history of architecture in Paris, the writers and films of Provence, and the economic and cultural history of Nantes, for example.
In order to find the program best suited to their individual needs, students work closely with French-department faculty and with the Off-Campus Study Office. Grinnell students currently study in Senegal and Morocco as well as in several areas of France (Nantes, Paris, Marseille, and Aix-en-Provence); others have participated in summer programs in Quebec.
Students' programs of study include, for example:
- issues of development and social change in Senegal
- North African cinema and the history of politics in Morocco
- diversity and the urban landscape of Marseille
- art history in Paris
- political science and international relations at the
- Institut d'Etudes Politiques (Paris)
- French literature and contemporary culture in Aix or Nantes
It is possible to combine a semester of study in France with a second semester in Senegal or Morocco. Student interested in French and Arabic can study both languages in Marseille (one required Arabic course) or in Rabat.
After returning to Grinnell, students are encouraged to develop their off-campus experience by incorporating it into further course work or individual projects, or by sharing it with the campus and local community in the form of oral presentations.
For more information, please visit the Off-Campus Studies website.
Students and faculty meet Fridays at noon in JRC 224B for lunch informal French conversation. Speakers of all levels are welcome to attend.
Elodie Valet, the French assistant, holds office hours at the following times in ARH 221:
Monday: 7:00-8:00 p.m.
Tuesday: 10:00-11:00 a.m.
Wednesday: 2:15-3:15 p.m.
Thursday: 7:00-8:00 p.m.
Friday: 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
The Student Educational Policy Committee, or SEPC, is a student-faculty liaison group which provides faculty with student input on professors, candidates, curriculum, and other departmental issues. It also organizes social events within the department.