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The French program at Saint Louis University offers a wide variety of courses aimed at mastering the French language and understanding French-speaking cultures.

Student with host family in Lyon

 Yesenia Sanchez ('19) and her host family celebrate the fête des lumières in Lyon, France.

Our diverse, interdisciplinary curriculum includes courses such as “French and International Relations,” “Business French,” “French Cinema,” “French and Francophone Media” as well as literature/culture courses from the Middle Ages to the present.

The French experience at SLU extends beyond the classroom walls: we offer frequent “activités cuturelles” open to all levels, and we host a chapter of the national French Honor Society Pi Delta Phi. Our study abroad opportunities include semester- and year-long options in Poitiers and Lyon, France.

Student Profiles

Paige Cook

Paige Cook

Hometown: Moscow Mills, MO
Majors: French, Political Science with a concentration in International Affairs, and International Studies
Favorite French Class: FREN 4340 - Age of Enlightenment
Career Interests: To work for the United Nations or the U.S. Department of State; immigration law or international law
Title of Senior Inquiry Project: "Le Mouvement Anti-Vaccin et Les Conséquences"

Read  More about Paige

Bonjour! I am from Moscow Mills, MO, which is about an hour from SLU, but have lived in STL since my sophomore year. In my spare time at SLU, I am an officer for various organizations: Zeta Tau Alpha, SLU College Dems, Amicus Curaie Pre-Law Society. Furthermore, I am a member of Pi Delta Phi, Pi Sigma Alpha, and Beta Beta Beta. When I am not doing those activities, I have two cats who I absolutely adore and love to spend time with. My aspiration in life is to go to law school, concentrate on immigration or international law and eventually work at the United Nations.

After graduation, I will be moving to New York City, where I have committed the next two years of my life toward the goal of educational equity through Teach For America. I am placed to teach fifth grade special education math. In addition, I will be obtaining my Master of Art in Teaching from Relay Graduate School for Education.

I have always been a persistent person, but through my experience in French at SLU I learned to be more persistent in my studies and my expectations of myself. Learning another language is hard and to continue to put yourself in speaking situations where you have to be vulnerable with your ideas was a growth challenge that I am glad to have learned so much from. Furthermore, I have had the most amazing educators who I am forever indebted to! Thanks to Annie Smart, Ph.D., I was challenged to refine my favorite subject and was able to critically analyze political philosophy, in French. I am blessed to have had Jean-Louis Pautrot, Ph.D.'s guidance and consistency to help clarify my oral French to the level it is today. Without Arline Cravens, Ph.D.'s help and mentorship over the years, I do not believe my scholarship in French would have covered such vast subjects or be where it is. Lastly, I am especially grateful to have built such a strong relationship with Kathleen Llewellyn, Ph.D. who has pushed me to believe in myself and my ideas - giving me the confidence I needed to excel when I thought otherwise.


Yesenia Sanchez

Yesenia Sanchez photo
Hometown: Fairview Heights, Illinois
Majors: French, International Studies
Minors: Political Science, Women's and Gender Studies
Favorite French class: Women and Global Issues
Career interest: Working with an advocacy or non-governmental agency that helps migrants 

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Salut! I am a senior majoring in French and international studies, with minors in political science and women's and gender studies. Although I live in the greater St. Louis region, I like to call Zacatecas, Mexico home, since I spent much of my childhood there. My love for French started in high school, and it has only grown since, thanks to SLU. I am also very passionate about traveling, which is why I spent my junior year studying in Lyon, France. I was able to travel through 21 different cities in nine different countries. My favorite city was Sidi Bou Said, Tunisia, a francophone country.

After my time abroad, I came back to the United States for a research internship through the McNair Scholars Program. I was able to study a new side of French culture by researching the new asylum and immigration laws being added to the French constitution. In the future I hope to pursue a career that has direct involvement with migration and refugees. In the meantime, I am looking at migration studies master's programs. 

Samantha Sudduth

Samantha Sudduth profile
Hometown: O'Fallon, Illinois
Majors/minors: Dual major in French and Communication Sciences & Disorders
Career interest: Speech-language pathology

Title of LLC symposium paper:  “Jean Renoir, le vrai poète du cinéma”

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Bonjour!  I will be graduating this spring as a dual major in French and communication sciences and disorders. After graduation, I’ll be spending a year as an English as a Second Language assistant in Annecy,  France through the Teaching Assistant Program in France (TAPIF). I am thrilled to have the opportunity to return to France and to utilize my passion for French in order to help students in the process of foreign language acquisition. After TAPIF, I have plans to obtain my master’s degree in speech-language pathology at Missouri State University.

The chance to study French here at SLU has truly been the opportunity of a lifetime. Not only has it better prepared me for my career as a speech pathologist by deepening my understanding of phonology, syntax, language, and communication, but it has also expanded my perspective and encouraged me to take a more active interest in cultures, peoples, and events that fall outside of my immediate experience. It may sound somewhat ironic, but the joy of discovery that learning a second language has brought me is something I simply can’t put into words, neither in English nor in French. All I can say is that learning French has been one of the most fulfilling and enriching adventures in my life, and I can’t wait to continue that adventure in Annecy this fall.