Paris 2020: MIT students with Professor Catherine Clark, who went to Paris as part of January Scholars in France program.

The UN has designated March 20 as French Language Day 2020.

French is the official language of 29 countries in 5 continents, with over 220 million native speakers! France and French-speaking countries play an active part in the world economy, accounting for 20% of world trade goods.

It is also the second most-used language in diplomacy after English. It is the official UN language and the working language of the European Union and the African Union. With English, it is the official language of the Olympic Games.

In addition, French is the second most-studied language in the world. It is one of the rare languages taught in the education system of every country. 125 million people study French around the world. Would you like to be one of them?

MIT offers a French Studies Concentration, Minor, and Major with a rich array of language and culture classes as well as a range of interdisciplinary courses in SHASS. MIT’s signature January Scholars in France program takes a select number of MIT undergraduates to Paris for two weeks of cultural and linguistic immersion all expenses paid each year during IAP. MISTI-France, MISTI-BelgiumMISTI-Switzerland and MISTI-Africa also provide MIT students with unique opportunities to study and participate in internships in French-speaking countries. MIT faculty can collaborate with peers in the Francophone world.

French was originally required of all MIT students when the Institute was first founded and it remains one of the most popular languages studied at MIT today.