Why study French?
The native language of 75 million people in Europe, North Africa, Quebec and parts of Asia and South America, French is spoken as a second language by 100 to 200 million more internationally.
An official language in more than 40 countries, and the essential language of art, fashion and dance, French is the second foreign language in the world, after English. French is an official working language in dozens of high-level international organizations, including the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the World Trade Organization, the International Olympic Committee and the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Knowing French is useful for travellers in 5 continents and the Pacific islands, and opens the door into a rich tradition of literature, philosophy and song. For centuries the language of international diplomacy, French language today gives voice to the experience of the diverse peoples and cultures who make up the world of Francophonie.
French culture – the cradle of modernity
France has given birth to many influential and politically innovative thinkers (Descartes, Voltaire, Diderot, Rousseau) whose writings have played an essential role in the development of the modern democratic state. Philosophers and writers such as Derrida or Foucault, Perec or Cixous continue the tradition of enquiry and re-visioning into this century.
With her cosmopolitanism and spirit of individual liberty, France has long been a magnet for painters, writers, artists and thinkers of diverse nationalities. La belle France is the setting and inspiration for many of the greatest works of modern art, from Van Gogh to Renoir, to Picasso.
With several centuries of «avant garde» trend-setting in the arts and fashion and ground-breaking innovations in medicine and science, France has earned more Nobel prizes than any other country in the world. The birthplace of the moving picture, France remains one of the biggest contributors to international cinema with the annual Festival de Cannes. She possesses one of the largest national libraries in the world, established by French president Mitterrand, with a catalogue estimated at 30 million volumes, and unparalleled museums such as the Louvre and the fancifulPompidou Centre.
«L’Hexagone» - an intimate geography
Known as the «Hexagone» for her six-sided shape, much of France is a green country, criss-crossed by rivers, with rich cultivated fields and vineyards stretching to the horizon. Her diverse geography includes snow-capped high mountain ranges like the Pyrenees and French Alps, the beaches and azure Calanques of the Mediterranean, the massive natural sand dunes and cliffs of the Atlantic coast, the beauty of salt marshes and islands where wild horses still run free.
France’s temperate climate makes her a welcoming host year-round and her cosmopolitan cities offer endless possibilities for diversion and discovery while her mediaeval villages invite you into ages past. Why not come on a French course in France and make a holiday of it?