Paris, France

Top Reasons to Study French

French is spoken on five continents. It is second only to English for the number of countries where it has official status, and with 56 members, la Francophonie is now larger than the [British] Commonwealth, which has 53 members.

French is the language of the future. Experts at agencies, corporations, and investment banks project that French will be spoken by 759 million people by 2050, surpassing the number of speakers of English and Spanish and likely on par with the number of people who speak Mandarin Chinese.

Are you interested in teaching? French is the only language, along with English, that is taught in every country of the world, with 120 million students around the globe.

After English and German, French is the third most used language on the Internet, ahead of Spanish. An ability to understand French offers an alternative view of the world through communication with French speakers from all the continents and news from the leading French-language international media.

Are you interested in the arts? French is the international language of theatre, the visual arts and dance, but also of cooking, fashion, and architecture. Knowledge of French offers access to great works of literature, as well as films and songs, in the original French. French film production – at 500 films per year – is number two in the world. In the U.S., half of foreign films watched, and 30% of foreign books read, are in French.

Are you interested in a governmental or diplomatic career? French is the official working language of the United Nations as well as dozens of international organizations including NATO, UNESCO, the International Red Cross Committee, the European Union, Amnesty International, and Doctors without Borders. 

French and French-speaking countries form an important bloc in the United Nations, the European Union, the African Union, and the Arab League.

Are you interested in international business? The ability to speak French and English is an advantage on the international job market. Knowledge of French opens the doors of French companies in France and other French-speaking parts of the world (Canada, Switzerland, Belgium, and the continent of Africa). As the world’s fifth biggest economy and third-ranking destination for foreign investment, France is a key economic partner. As well, the largest trading partner of the United States is Canada, a nation where French and English are official languages. French is the only official language of Quebec, and New York exports more to Quebec than to any U.S. state.

Are you interested in science or technology? France and Quebec are among the most respected innovators in technology.  For example, Toulouse and Montreal, with Seattle, are the world’s leading cities in aerospace technology. Areva, of Paris, is the world’s largest civil nuclear energy company, and the world’s leader in international engineering is SNC-Lavalin of Montreal.

Are you interested in unique academic opportunities? Knowing French opens up study opportunities at renowned French universities and business schools, ranked among the top higher education institutions in Europe and the world. Students with a good level of French are eligible for French government scholarships to enroll in postgraduate courses in France in any discipline and qualify for internationally recognized French degrees.