Pursuing French as an academic field means mastering the language in addition to studying the literature and the social and political culture of France and French-speaking countries. French is spoken all around the globe--in Europe, Africa, Asia, Canada, and the Caribbean--where it has produced rich national literatures and diverse cultures over the span of many centuries. As a recent Association of the Teachers of French publication has stated, "French is the other international language." Command of the language is the first prerequisite to entrance into the discipline which depends upon linguistic, literary, and analytical skills. On a more practical level, French is the language of government, law, management, and business in many regions of the international community, and the study of French as used in these areas is an applied field within the discipline.
Students who graduate with a major in French pursue diverse careers and employment. Many become teachers or take positions in international commerce, marketing, banking, or travel (e.g., airlines, travel agencies, Club Med). Others work in fields of government, publishing, journalism, or international relations. As a liberal arts major, French is also the choice of some who go on to professional schools in law, management and business, library science, computer technology, or medicine.