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Career information for French majors
What are UVA grads doing with their French majors?
- Teaching in colleges and universities
- Practicing medicine
- Practicing international law
- Directing museums
- Serving as school principals
- Teaching French, English, and other subjects
- Serving in humanitarian agencies here and abroad, such as the Peace Corps or the International Justice Mission
- Working in legal firms as paralegals, legal analysts,or legal assistants
- Pursuing graduate studies in Europe and the USA in Translation & Interpretation, International Relations, Sociology, Law, Psychology, Chemistry, French, Film Studies, and Medicine
- Working in marketing and advertising
- Working in financial sales or international finance
- ...and the list continues to grow. Alums, let us know what you are doing!
How can studying French help your career options?
- French is the language of the future.
- French is the second most useful foreign language for business.
- Studying French makes you smarter.
- French is one of the top ten majors most likely to lead to less unemployment and higher earnings.
- Studying abroad makes you more creative.
- Don't believe unsubstantiated claims? More evidence...
Graduating soon? French major? Double major? What next?
Interested in living and teaching in France?
UVA students are very successful in applications for the French Government Teaching Exchange Program (TAPIF). You apply between October and January of your 4th year, and the fall after you graduate, you go to France for 9 months to teach English in a middle or high school. And get paid! Many UVA French faculty have done this program, so we have lots of advice if you have questions. Application link
Want to do other kinds of work in France?
The French American Chamber of Commerce has a has a program called the American Trainees in France program that sponsors training visas for Americans (aged 18-35) who are interested in working in France. More details are available at FACC.
Interested in Africa? Want to continue your study of French in Senegal?
Consider applying for a Boren Award. French is an African Flagship Language. More info.
Interested in an internship or field study program in Paris, Strasbourg, or Brussels?
Consider applying for an internship in your field, tailored to your interests and career goals, for a semester or a year, in French in one of these cities through IFE.
Interested in volunteering with the Peace Corps?
The Peace Corps especially needs volunteers with French language skills and a desire to serve the global community. Volunteers spend 2 years living and working in developing communities around the world – serving local needs, building cross-cultural friendships, and changing lives (including their own). The advanced language, professional and cultural skills they bring back make them highly desirable job and grad school candidates, and their newfound confidence and global perspective remains with them forever. Jonathan Moore, Peace Corps campus recruiter at the University of Virginia, writes: "Now more than ever, French speakers are in hot demand across all Peace Corps assignment sectors (Environment, Agriculture, Health, Business, Education, and Community/Youth Development), and largely in Africa and the Caribbean. And while French skills alone won't qualify an applicant for Peace Corps service, if you have French skills plus work or volunteering experience in any of the above sectors, you quickly become a highly competitive candidate. We generally have little trouble filling our Spanish-speaking assignment spots these days, but French language enrollment isn't as prevalent as it once was, and so it's considered a "scarce" skill." Email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions, and check out www.peacecorps.gov.
Want outside help finding jobs in Europe?
The following organization may be helpful but neither UVA nor the French Department makes any claim as to their effectiveness.