For information about careers, graduate studies, and alumni case studies, check out our Careers pages. But just as important, here’s what current (or recent) students have to say about their experience in the department. (Click the students’ quotes or photos to read their full remarks):
“The French Department at Carleton is the best of the best!”
Funto: The French Department at Carleton is the best of the best! The professors are encouraging and are so eager to help students improve their French skills.
Amie: I never thought I would spend as much time in the French Department as I do. This department is hands down one of the best, if not the best, at Carleton. The professors are super nice, encouraging and so supportive throughout the whole process. In fact, I may even minor in it because of the experience I have had so far.
- Funto Akindona ’20 (left) and Amie Salem ’20 (right)
“French truly remains an incredibly important asset to future citizens and leaders of our globalized society.”
Wonderfully short-sighted and flat out unknowledgable, I first began my French journey at Carleton wanting to understand why ratatouille was called ratatouille and to learn how to make it. All chuckles aside, I am so glad this silly inclination led me to the French Department. A language that serves as the official tongue of thirty-some countries, French truly remains an incredibly important asset to future citizens and leaders of our globalized society. What really sticks with you is the global perspective the department instills in you.
As you learn about French and Francophone cultures, you are invited to analyze more deeply the nuances of the French identity, the tensions between desire of societal progress and necessity of historical atonement, and the role Francophone nations play in the world today. You can count on the wonderful faculty to teach you something new every day and always with a bigger, worldly perspective in mind. Though I can’t say that my ratatouille looks anything like the one Remy made in the Pixar film, I can say that I’ve gained a tremendous respect and passion for the beautiful language that has the power to connect me with millions of people across the globe.
- Chris Lee ’19
“Studying French at Carleton has opened more doors for me than I had ever imagined possible.”
Studying French at Carleton has opened more doors for me than I had ever imagined possible. I’ve had the opportunity to meet and work with students from all over France, and a few of them have even become some of my closest friends at Carleton. The French department also offers incredible study abroad programs in Paris and Senegal. I went on the Paris trip during my sophomore year and in addition to improving my French and eating the tastiest food in the world, I stayed with the kindest, most wonderful host family.
The department also has a new program in Senegal that I hope to attend next winter. There, I’ll get to explore the way countries rebuild themselves after colonization. Even better than the study abroad opportunities have been the relationships I’ve gotten to build with my French professors. My relationships with my professors mean the world to me — I’ve been out to lunch with them, had dinners at their houses, and count on them for personal and academic support as I continue at Carleton and beyond!
- Eva Druskin ’19
“Studying French gives a student new perspectives from which to comprehend our complex world.”
Studying French gives a student new perspectives from which to comprehend our complex world. Through the study of French literature, film, poetry, art, song, and other media, one can foster an appreciation for the beauty of diversity. From the Caribbean to Indochina to West Africa and beyond, the study of French offers the curious mind a portal through which one can begin to appreciate the beauty of the diverse French diaspora.
At Carleton, studying French goes beyond an understanding of basic verb conjugations and pictures of Paris. French professors at Carleton give students the ability to dive into francophone cultures around the globe … not to mention the amazing study abroad opportunities in Paris and the francophone world as well as crêpe nights on campus!
- Nick Leeke ’18
“I took courses that touched on controversial yet important issues and changed my way of thinking and how I view the world.”
Learning a new language from scratch is never easy, especially in Carleton’s demanding academic environment. However, French classes at Carleton are so interdisciplinary, fascinating, and eye-opening that I felt that my effort has been worth it. I took courses like Banned Books and Middle East and the French Connection that touched on controversial yet important issues and changed my way of thinking and how I view the world.
I also found the French department to be extremely supportive. The professors are very encouraging in class and patient with any questions during office hours. French assistants and my fellow French friends also helped me to learn. Towards the end of my time at Carleton, I realized that I have gained much more than the language skills through studying French.
- Moliang Jiang ’18