Language and culture are inseparable; the study of other cultures also offers new perspectives on one’s own.

The Lois ’51 and J. Harvey Watson Department of French and Francophone Studies offers a wide range of courses in French and Francophone language and literature, contemporary France, cinema, and more—all taught entirely in French.

Le Chateau, at the center of campus, houses the French department.

Le Château

Le Château was built in 1929 as one of the first maisons françaises in the country. It houses the French Department, our faculty offices, a theater for foreign language productions, and classrooms for our courses. Learn more about our courses.

About the Department

The French and Francophone Studies Department provides students with a thorough training in French language and culture, enabling you to interact freely and easily with French native speakers in all areas of linguistic competency.

Students acquire an active command of written and spoken French, and discover and appreciate French and Francophone cultures. In addition to building linguistic and cultural competence in all students, we seek to provide more advanced students with the analytical skills necessary to understand the expressions and manifestations of these cultures through the study, in French, of literature, cinema, history, the arts, and the social sciences.

A blooming tree along a street in Paris.

Study Abroad

Middlebury has its own School in France, with sites in Paris, Poitiers, and Bordeaux, as well as a school in Cameroon, Africa. It is possible to begin French at Middlebury and study abroad in your junior year, sometimes in combination with a summer at Middlebury’s renowned Language Schools.

Summer Language School

With both seven-week (undergraduate) and six-week (graduate) full immersion programs each summer, the Betty Ashbury Jones MA ’86 School of French offers courses at all levels.

Language School

Events and Activities

The department sponsors numerous concerts, plays, films, and lectures, open to the campus and the wider community, throughout the academic year. 

See Upcoming Events.

Students also have many other opportunities to use their French skills beyond the classroom, including field trips, at the French tables in dining halls, and at the Maison Française, the residential house on campus.
 

Meet with Faculty

Office Hours

Explore the Major

About Requirements

Opportunities for Students

Student Resources