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Should I major in French if I only took 1 year of French in HS?

I took Spanish for 4 years in high school, and in my senior year I decided to take French I. I've fallen in love with it, and I want to major in French, but is that a good idea? Will it cost me more money in the long run? Will I be too far behind? #majors #french #foreign-languages


It depends on what you want to be. If what you want to be needs a French major-Do it! If you would only be getting a major because you love it, I would say get a minor in French. That way you can still study abroad if you want. This is what I am doing but with Spanish. I am going to minor in Spanish and get a major in something else... Zena S.

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Garth’s Answer

It's great that you've fallen in love in French. The same happened to me in high school, and I speak French to this day. Whether to major in it depends a lot on what you intend to do with it. I thought about majoring in French, then ended up minoring in it (along with International Relations). My eventual direction was pre-law, and I didn't want foreign language to be my primary focus, but the French minor has always been a talking point with prospective employers and has helped me get work involving French. I wouldn't worry that much about being behind if you do major in it - with your passion and your evident foreign language skills, you should be able to get up to speed before too long. I suggest you take some more time to explore career choices, keeping in mind that even with a foreign language minor, you can still use that language as a qualification/selling point that can open doors for you. All the best - bonne chance!


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Nicole’s Answer

What do you want to do with French and where do you plan on working? For example, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, German, Russian, and Chinese would be more helpful if you plan to work in the US. If you plan on working in Europe or Africa, French is going to be more useful for you there. I do not recommend just doing a major in French. You should heavily consider combining it with something like International Business, Economics, Systems Administration, etc. Not only are double majors more and more common, but having a major in a STEM/business field plus a liberal arts major will give you a real edge over other recent graduates. Right now, employers are looking for people that can combine the technical side with the communications side. Additionally, since you took only one year of French, I strongly recommend trying Duolingo or looking at other free online resources to ensure that you're not just enthralled with the ease of learning a third language. Take some time to get into the more difficult aspects of the language to make sure you really like it even when it gets tough. As for your concerns about being behind in college, you won't. You'll be able to start at a 100-level course; however, it may not count towards your major, so you do want to be mindful of that. It may also either push you out past 4 years or it will just limit how many upper-level courses you can take.

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