We equip students to be fluent in literature, film, and culture, not just foreign languages. Through our program, you will learn to interpret, critique, and connect powerfully in English, as well as in your concentrated language, whether your focus is French, German, or Spanish. Our courses emphasize the development of strong written and oral communication skills, the critical examination of written and visual cultural artifacts, and persuasive argumentation. Through mastery of other languages and cultures, our students gain a new sense of their place in the world and a greater ability to navigate it successfully.
Students interested in teaching French or Spanish in elementary and/or secondary schools may take advantage of our teacher certification program at the undergraduate level or pursue certification through Furman’s Master of Arts in Teaching. Consult with the Coordinator of Foreign Language Education or the Education Department (https://www.furman.edu/academics/education) to learn about the programs of teacher education.
1. Understand the role of language and culture in a globalized world.
2. Demonstrate competency and critical thinking in the analysis of language and cultural, literary, and professional texts and other media in order for them to develop global fluency, linguistic proficiency, and a high level of intercultural communication and understanding.
“My language skills allow me to explore bilingual career opportunities around the world and give me the latitude I need to pursue my passion for international relations wherever I want. My language skills also help me overcome intercultural barriers in the office, and form meaningful relationships in my community.” (Lee Bolton, French, ‘15)
“[It is a ] massive advantage speaking the languages when you work for a US subsidiary of a German company – but even better is knowing how they think and being able to work with them. It is also a significant differentiator, not necessarily when you start but as you meet people within the company and begin to network and grow.” (Dan Collins, French major and German student, ‘12)
“My degree in French from Furman led me to a career in international development. My studies and travel at Furman opened my eyes to what was possible for me in my career and I utilize my foreign language skills on a daily basis.” (Megan Rast, French, ‘08)
“Being able to speak Spanish is essential to my work as a physician now. I enjoy being able to converse directly with my Spanish-speaking patients and they enjoy not having to use an interpreter. I also plan to work in Latin America throughout my career with medicine and having the linguistic and cultural learning from my major will be invaluable prep and will be constantly with me.” (Adam Ketner, Spanish, ‘06)
“The skills I acquired at Furman led me on to graduate study, directly influenced my career choice, and the lessons I learned from my experience in the classrooms of my Furman professors on being an engaged, excited educator are lessons that I return to on a daily basis, every time I enter my own classes and look into the faces of my own students.” (Michael Harrison, Spanish, ‘98)