CofC Logo

Message from the Chair


Welcome to the Department of French, Francophone and Italian Studies. In our department, Italian and French and Francophone Studies retain their distinct identity while collaborating in numerous ways where our goals intersect. In each program, students experience a range of courses on language, literature, and cultural studies that fosters analytical and critical thinking, builds their fluency, widens their horizon, and gives them a deeper appreciation of other peoples and cultures.

Bienvenue!  The curriculum of French and Francophone Studies provides a mix of courses and activities that enable students to pursue their real-world goals. A sizable number of our students combine a major in French and Francophone studies with a major or concentration in another field, and as many as 44 students in a given semester take French as a minor to complement their chosen career paths. We also offer a French Education major that enables students to become certified to teach pre-kindergarten to twelfth grade. In addition to the traditional courses in language, culture, and literature, we offer a Business Language minor in French. Qualifying students can also become members of the Lambda Theta chapter of the National French Honor Society, Pi Delta Phi. We have an active French Club that meets regularly and schedules engaging activities like Pétanque in the Park, and La Table Française.

During our semester-long study abroad program in La Rochelle, France, students live with host families, and experience authentic cultural and linguistic immersion critical not only in foreign language learning and cultural literacy but in the building of personal poise and self-confidence. Summer study abroad courses have recently been offered in Morocco, in Paris, and in Provence; more are planned in other Francophone regions. On campus, the Franco-Hispano House, available to qualifying students, is dedicated to providing students opportunities to improve their oral proficiency in French through conversation in everyday living situations. The Franco-Hispano House also fosters increased understanding of French and Francophone cultures through interaction with other students of French during cultural activities scheduled at the house.

Every year, several of our graduating seniors are accepted to the Teaching Assistant Program in France. This program, offered through the French Embassy in the United States, offers students the opportunity to work in France for 7 months, teaching English to French students of all ages in public schools across all regions of France as well as overseas in French-speaking countries such as Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Reunion.

We are excited that you have chosen to share in our enthusiasm for a global language spoken by more than 450 million people in 44 countries on five continents.  Our department has a proud tradition of preparing students to live and work in an increasingly globalized world in which the ability to speak a foreign language offers a competitive edge in the job market.

Learn more:

French Major and Minors
Interdisciplinary Minors
Support Programs and Student Opportunities

Benvenuto!  Many students are interested in Italian because of its rich cultural heritage. We offer a minor in Italian, welcoming students interested in careers in art, music, design, cinema, history, politics, entertainment, comparative literature, and international business. Our beginning and intermediate Italian courses are very popular, and upper-level courses include cinema, literature, and literature in translation.  In the summer, our students can study abroad in Chiavari, where they take Italian courses on such topics as Italian politics, culture, and cinema. Students can share their love for all things Italian by joining the Italian Club. Established in 2006, the Nuovo Cinema Italiano Film Festival showcases new works of Italian cinema each fall.

Learn more:
Italian Minor
Interdisciplinary Minor
Support Programs and Student Opportunities

The department of French, Francophone and Italian Studies boasts an intensely passionate core of dedicated professionals committed to innovative teaching to meet the varying learning styles of students of diverse interests. Our faculty members routinely mentor and advise students, guide them in their career paths, and encourage them to be flexible enough to take advantage of the numerous opportunities the Department and College provide. All our upper level courses are taught by full-time instructors, senior instructors, or tenured and tenure-track faculty with solid backgrounds and years of experience. They also share in the teaching of beginning and intermediate level courses. Through the French, Francophone, and Italian Studies Lecture Series, our faculty share their latest research with students, colleagues, and the campus community at large.

Please feel free to browse the related links on our web page.  I invite you to stop by and meet with one of our faculty members to find out more about our programs!

Sincerely yours / Cordialement / Cordiali saluti,

Lisa F. Signori, Chair
Department of French, Francophone and Italian Studies