At Warwick, we view the year abroad as an important and integral part of your degree programme, one which is both personally and academically enriching, and is highly valued by employers for the specific skills that it brings with it.
Students on degree courses involving French Studies spend the second or third year of their degree in France or a Francophone country (e.g. Belgium, French-speaking Canada).
The majority of our students spend the year doing one of three things:
- Working as a language assistant in a school
- Studying at a university
- Completing a work placement
A language assistantship involves teaching spoken English in a primary or secondary school in France (or other francophone country). Most students apply for an assistanship during the first term of their second year at Warwick. The British Council currently handles all the adminstrative details for these posts. This is currently a popular option amongst Warwick students, since the posts are reasonably well-paid and enable you to become integrated into a French-speaking community fairly quickly. Some of our students have chosen to go to countries other than France using this scheme, for example to Canada (Québec) or to the Indian-Ocean island of Réunion.
Studying at university
The department also has exchange programmes with several French universities, where you can spend time as a full-time student. We currently have exchanges with the universities of Caen, Dijon, Nanterre (Paris), the Sorbonne (Paris), Grenoble, Montpellier, Bordeaux, Strasbourg, the Institut Supérieur de Traducteurs et Interprètes (Brussels), and the Université Antilles-Guyane on the French Caribbean island of Martinique.
Other work/study placements
It is also possible to arrange an alternative work or study placement, either in France or in a French-speaking country, subject to approval by the School. In recent years, we have had students who have worked in France doing a wide range of jobs - e.g. subtitling French television programmes in English; working in a French bank; working in law firms or private companies; working in the Opera House in Paris; doing placements at European Union institutions in Brussels and Strasbourg; and working for a charity in francophone Africa. Other students have arranged to study French at the Institut Britannique in Paris and at the École du Louvre, one of France's best-known schools of fine art.
During the year abroad
Whichever option you choose, during the year abroad you will continue to have a Personal Tutor at Warwick and receive support from the Year Abroad Team. You will also submit academic work, which is designed to prepare you for your final-year studies in spoken and written French language.
In addition to the year abroad, all students are encouraged to spend further time abroad during vacations. The School is able to offer advice and information about the ways in which this can be done (paid work, voluntary work, language courses, etc.). Students usually find vacation residence to be a particularly rewarding way of 'trying out' living in France as it allows them to be immersed in French culture and the French way of life, while gaining extra confidence in the language.
If you are an international student, you may not be eligible for the assistantship scheme or the ERASMUS exchange programme. You will, however, be able to study at a French university of your choice or find work. Please contact the School if you have any queries about this.