Five Reasons to Study French
Commonly regarded as the language of love, from a nation of sophistication and culture, French hardly needs selling any more than it already does for itself. Nonetheless, for those of you who are still on the fence regarding whether or not it's the subject for you, we've put together just a few of the many reasons to study French at university:
1. You'll get the chance to study abroad
Well, maybe "chance" is a slightly misleading word – most foreign language degrees include a period abroad as a compulsory element of the course, and French is no exception.
Choose to study this subject at university, and you'll almost certainly find yourself studying in France or another French-speaking nation for up to a year. Many students aspire to be accepted onto their university's foreign exchange programme, so having it stipulated as a requirement of your degree must be seen as an enviable bonus.
2. A second language is a huge bonus to have on your CV
The job market, especially for graduates, is as competitive as it has ever been – that's no secret. Luckily for students of French, one of the best ways to make yourself stand out from the crowd is to have proficiency (or even better, fluency) in a foreign language.
In a world where so much business is done on an international level, companies are always on the lookout for employees who can easily converse with their overseas colleagues. If you want your CV to find itself at the top of the pile, a French degree is a great start.
3. French is a subject with a good professional premium
The professional premium refers to the difference between the mean salary for those starting professional employment (a job that usually requires a degree) and the mean salary for those entering employment in a non-professional occupation (a job that doesn't usually require a degree).
The professional premium for French was over £4,000. In other words, if you're looking to work in a field where French is relevant, a degree in the subject is massively beneficial.
4. Many of the universities offering French degrees have great Graduate Prospects
While the overall Graduate Prospects for French students are about average, the scores for a good proportion of the universities in the subject table are very impressive.
In a table containing around 50 universities, almost all of the top 25 (and many outside of it) have Graduate Prospects of at least 70%, with a fair chunk boasting a score of 80% or above. With job prospects a concern for graduates and non-graduates alike, these kinds of numbers will make reassuring reading for prospective French students.
5. French is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world
In terms of the number of countries in which a language is officially spoken, English is by far and away the most widely used in the world. However, along with Arabic and Spanish, French is one of a small group of languages that can claim to be at least close to the popularity of English.
Owing to the former French empire, large swathes of Africa speak the language, as does Canada, and of course, a handful of European nations. If that's still not enough to convince you that French is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world, bear in mind that it's also one of just six official UN languages. Useful.
Next page: Guide to Studying French