Why study French?

French is the master key, which opens the door to...

  • The English language - by providing a better understanduing of the structure of both languages and by increasing your word power. Over sixty percent of the words in the English language have been drawn directly from the French language.
  • International travel - by providing a second channel of communication, which is effective on all continents.
  • International law and diplomacy - French is the major language of law and diplomacy in Europe and one of the most widely spoken languages in the world.
  • International trade - French is a key member of the European Community, is the fifth major world economy, and is the chief commercial partner of numerous French speaking areas in Europe, Canada, Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean.
  • Western philosophy - for much of our contemporary thinking stems from the contributions of French philosophers from St. Thomas Aquinas to Jean-Paul Sartre.
  • Western literature - for the contributions of French writers from Rabelias to Robbe-Grillet have inspired writers throughout the world.
  • Western cinema - just think of the film classics produced by French cinematographers from Jean Renoir to Alain Resnais.
  • Western theater - again French playwrights come to the foreground from the contributions of Moliere and Racine to those of Genet.
  • Western art - who can deny the influence of French artists from the unknown architects of the Gothic cathedrals to the famous Picasso, who made Paris his city of adoption.
  • Western political thought - with so many writers deeply concerned with forms of government from monarchy to democracy.
  • Western culture - France epitomizes modern culture from savoir faire to savoire vivre.

Can you afford not to know French in your world today?

Jean Giraudous tells us as he looks out from the Eiffel Tower: "In twenty square miles I can see before me, there have been more thinking, more discussing, and more writing than anywhere else in the world."

Ball State University offers French courses for those, who wish to travel and/or teach, for those who wish to learn the French language for their personal pleasure, and for those who wish to have an additional tool to enhance their professional or social competence.

The program in French at Ball State University encourages study and residence in a French-speaking country. One-half of the majors in French receive full academic credit through Ball State's International Student Exchange Program for one or two semesters. By successfully completing our study abroad program, you may apply for one of the exchange programs with the University of Nancy or the French government.