Off-Campus Studies can help French and Francophone Studies students…

  • Improve foreign language skills
  • Gain awareness of the major discipline from a different scholarly tradition
  • Develop global perspectives
  • Expand cross-cultural communication and problem-solving skills
  • Prepare for an increasingly diverse and international workplace

How does a semester or year of OCS help students in French and Francophone Studies prepare for graduate school or various career opportunities? 

  • Most students experience significant linguistic development through off-campus studies in the French-speaking world even if the student studies abroad for just one semester.
  • Broad exposure to French or Francophone culture, specialized course work, and internship opportunities for career development

As a general rule of thumb, the French and Francophone Studies Department recommends the following for students who wish to study off-campus.

  • First and second-year students who intend to study abroad in the French-speaking world should keep in mind that most programs taught in French require that students have completed a minimum second-year French (FREN 200) prior to enrollment.  The more French courses a student has prior to departure the better.
  • Students with little or no background in French prior to entering Whitman should take FREN 100 and FREN 150 their first year.  Students who have a previous background in the language should take the French placement test prior to registering for classes in their first semester and enroll in a French course at the appropriate level.
  • A full year of off-campus study will yield the greatest linguistic benefit.  In many cases, students are able to obtain 12 credits in French language and literature in just one semester.
  • Note to Heritage speakers of French and students with a strong background in French: Program admission applications will require at least one graded French course on your Whitman transcript at the time of application.

Which requirements can French and Francophone Studies majors fulfill while off-campus?

  • Elective major credit from courses in French and Francophone language, literature, or culture. Courses taught in English will not transfer to the major or minor in French and Francophone Studies.
  • General Studies distribution credit
  • General degree credit

Major Credit Limitations

  • The maximum number of credits that can be applied to the French and Francophone Studies major from off campus studies (including AP credit, IB credit and credits from other U.S. institutions) is 12 credits with the approval of your major adviser.   All transfer credits in French must be equivalent to 300 or 400-level courses.

Minor Credit Limitations

  • A minimum of three-fifths (12) of the specific course and credit requirements for the minor (a total of 20 credits) must be completed in the on-campus program of the college.

What are the types of OCS programs recommended by the French and Francophone Studies department?

  • Traditional campus-based program that combines courses for foreign students (including French language courses) with opportunities for direct enrollment at a university abroad
  • Program that offers an opportunity for an internship or service-learning embedded in an academic course as part of the program

Which Partner Programs are recommended by the French and Francophone Studies department?

  • IES: Nantes French Language Immersion and Area Studies (France)
  • IES: Paris French Studies
  • Middlebury: Studies in Paris Program (France)

These programs do not offer many courses taught in French but may be of interest to students who want to live in a Francophone country other than France.

  • SIT: Switzerland Banking, Finance and Social Responsibility (Switzerland)
  • SIT: Morocco Migration and Transnational Identity (Morocco)

Students interested in Off-Campus Studies should attend an OCS First Step meeting in the fall of their second year, discuss their interests with their major adviser, and schedule an appointment with an OCS adviser.