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

  • Improve language skills
  • Study a broad range of subjects in courses taught in French
  • 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? 

  • Contributes to significant linguistic development even in only one semester (although a full year is even better).
  • Encourages greater resilience and adaptability in different linguistic and cultural contexts.
  • Supports a very broad range of academic interests in a French-speaking context (Cameroon, France, or Morocco)
  • Fosters a broad understanding of Francophone cultures, with specialized coursework 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 complete the equivalent of second-year French (FREN 205-206) prior to departure. Middlebury programs require an additional semester or equivalent. (Note: Whitman allows students to take 205 and 206 in any order.)
  • Students with little or no background in French prior to entering Whitman should take FREN 105 (Fall semester) and FREN 106 (Spring semester) during their first year.  Students with previous experience in the language should take the French placement test prior to registering for classes for their first semester, and enroll in a French course at the appropriate level.
  • Any university-level course taught entirely in French may transfer as a French major, minor, or major+French credit, regardless of the topic. Students may transfer up to 12 credits to the French major, 8 credits to the French minor, or to any +French combined major.
  • 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?

  • All courses taught entirely in French, regardless of the subject matter, will satisfy elective credit for the French and Francophone Studies major, minor or major+French, up to a maximum of 12 credits. 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 is 12 with the approval of your major adviser.  The total combined number of off-campus studies credits, AP or IB credits, and credits from approved courses taught in English at Whitman cannot exceed 16.

Minor Credit Limitations

  • The maximum number of credits that can be applied to the French and Francophone Studies minor from off-campus studies is 8.

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

  • Traditional campus-based programs that combine courses for foreign students (including French language courses) with opportunities for direct enrollment at a university abroad
  • Programs that offer a credit-bearing opportunity for an internship or service-learning, accompanied by an academic component

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
  • IES: Rabat (Morocco) – prior study of French highly recommended but not required; courses in French available at the IES Center, as well as at the Université Mohammed V
  • 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.