French is one of the six working languages of the United Nations, one of three procedural languages of the European Union, and the sole language used for the deliberations of the EU’s Court of Justice. With over 220 million speakers worldwide, it is the sixth most spoken language, and is an official language in 29 countries, from Switzerland to Morocco to Vietnam, as well as Canada, our biggest trading partner, accessible within a 20-minute drive from campus. France supports one of the world’s premier research institutions, the Centre national de recherche scientifique, and has produced some of history’s leading mathematicians – among them Blaise Pascal, Pierre de Fermat, Pierre-Simon Laplace. No less than for its profusion of artistic and cultural monuments, France is esteemed for its commerce and industry and its leadership in scientific fields ranging from oceanography to aerospace engineering.
Students may fulfill the UB Curriculum Global Pathway Language & Culture Track in French by starting at their current level of proficiency, from introductory to advanced intermediate (course names begin with FR), and taking nine credit hours. They may major or minor in French, or pursue a graduate degree . Both undergraduate and graduate students of French can benefit from UB’s unique Québec Studies Program. Through French study at UB, students discover the source language of some 45% of all English words, and can explore the Encyclopédie, medieval French interactions with the Islamic world, the cinema of Québec and Senegal, the novels of Flaubert and Proust, and modern philosophy and theory. The permanent collection of Buffalo’s Albright Knox Gallery has a wealth of modern French paintings by such artists as Gauguin, Renoir, Van Gogh, Rousseau, and Delaunay. Students may elect to study abroad in Chicoutimi, Tour, Paris, Besançon, or Fes, and may continue their studies in UB’s graduate degree program. Coursework is supplemented by extracurricular activities including French dinners and film festivals.