Department of French, Francophone and Italian Studies

Welcome! Bienvenue! Benvenuto!

Within the Department of French, Francophone and Italian Studies, we consider the study of language and culture as essential components of any education.

We offer a wide range of language, literature, and culture courses that emphasize the importance of languages spoken by nearly 200 million people in 70 countries worldwide. The French and Italian curricula feature community-based learning initiatives, a business language program, an International Film Festival, as well as internship and study abroad opportunities in Europe, Africa, and the Caribbean.

We invite you to explore the individual web pages to learn more about the department at the College of Charleston.


Department Spotlight

Student Focus

Sally Ott

Sally Ott is a junior double majoring in French and supply chain management. She is the co-president and former treasurer of CofC’s French Club, which has provided her with extra opportunities to practice the language and network with her peers.

That’s why the French program’s study abroad semester in La Rochelle, France, was a perfect fit for her. And with CofC scholarships, including the Huguenot Endowment Scholarship, the Jeffrey A. Foster French Travel Scholarship and a general CofC Study abroad scholarship, Ott says it was the right time to put her skills to the test.

The College Today caught up with Ott as she was finishing her fall 2019 semester in France to find out how the experience connects to her professional ambitions and what she’s learned from living in a coastal city in southwest France.

What are your career interests?

I’m interested in working with a French company in either exportation or manufacturing. The exportation of French food and wine products to the United States has been my main fascination lately.

What kind of French food and wine products are you interested in? What sparked your fascination with them?

I’m looking at cheese, spices, tea, coffee and wine enterprises, which are all organic and BIO companies. I became interested in food products that are produced responsibly because I find it rewarding to work with quality products that help the environment, more so than working in an industrial sector. I would also love to make French food products more accessible in the U.S. through export and supply chain operations.

 

What are the benefits of studying French in combination with supply chain management?

I have found that in studying another language, in general, you learn about many differences in cultural aspects between the U.S. and the country of study. For me, in studying French along with supply chain management, I have a better understanding of what it would look like to do business between French and American companies because of my knowledge of the culture in France. Also, being able to speak French and English is an advantage in communication with companies within the supply chain.

What have you gained from your study abroad experience?

I am studying abroad right now in La Rochelle, France, and it has been a life-changing experience. I have grown in my language skills and because of that, I have been able to communicate with many people who have lived a very different life than me. Having conversations with people of other nationalities has broadened my perspective of how other people see the world.

How did you become interested your majors?

With French, I learned some of the language in high school, and I love the challenge of communicating and thinking in another language.

With supply chain management, in my business statistics class, my professor reached out to me and thought that I had potential to pursue a career in supply chain. I did some research and discovered that the topic of logistics and process management is in high demand, and the subject interested me, so I decided to declare the major.

Do you plan to one day live in France or a French-speaking country?

I do plan to live and work in France eventually. I am currently searching for an internship in France for food exportation, so I am hopeful to see how it turns out!

Alumni Focus

Maxine Bier
Maxine Bier
International Trade Outreach Manager
Georgia Department of Economic Development

Maxine Bier has served as the International Trade Outreach Manager for the Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) since August 2017. As trade outreach manager, Maxine is in charge of developing and implementing strategies to grow the number of Georgia businesses that engage with international trade services. She works closely with GDEcD’s marketing team to promote the department’s international trade programs across the state and is the initial point of contact for Georgia companies seeking support from GDEcD’s Trade Division.

Before joining GDEcD’s trade team, Maxine worked in the department’s International Relations Division where she supported the deputy commissioner and chief of protocol in the management of consular corps relations, visiting foreign delegations, international mission planning and marketing efforts to elevate Georgia’s international profile.

Maxine holds a B.A. in Political Science and French from the College of Charleston, an M.A. in Teaching Foreign Language from the University of North Carolina and a dual-degree MBA in International Business from Georgia State University and the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne.

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