French: Guide Valpo – Opportunities


Valpo’s local chapter of the French National Honor Society, Pi Delta Phi, accepts new members every year. The criteria for admittance into this honor society are as follows:

1) Completion of two French courses beyond FLF 203, including:

• one course from the French Texts and Society sequence (FLF 351, 352, 353) OR

• participation in one of the VU Paris programs

2) Overall GPA of B

3) French GPA of B+

Once you have met these criteria, you will be invited to join. If you join, you will be asked to pay a modest one-time membership fee. Every spring, the French section organizes an induction ceremony and reception for current and new members.

Each year, the French section chooses students from all classes as recipients for various awards:

• Guillaumant Award: Our highest award is presented to an outstanding graduating senior French major. Recipients of this monetary award will not only have completed superior coursework in French (measured by GPA), but will also have contributed significantly to the promotion of French studies and activities on campus.

• Patterson Maclean Friedrich Award: This award is presented to an outstanding junior French major. A scholarship (generally between $1000 and $2000) will be provided towards the student’s senior year.

• Book Prizes: Outstanding freshmen and sophomores will be chosen for book prizes based on current GPA in French courses and overall promise as French majors or minors. Note also: Each year in May, the Foreign Language faculty hold an end-of-the-year Honors Reception during which they give special recognition to their graduating majors and present awards to those students who have done superior work in their field. This reception is a chance for us to honor all our outstanding students and for you to be recognized (as well as eat free food!). If you are a graduating senior or have been invited to the reception for one of the awards listed above, PLEASE BE SURE TO ATTEND THE RECEPTION! While there are sometimes potential conflicts at this busy time of the year, we do appreciate this once-a-year chance to honor our students.

The Symposium on Undergraduate Research and Creative Expression (SOURCE) is an opportunity for students to share creative and/or scholarly work that they have undertaken during the past year in a poster or oral format. French students have participated in the SOURCE conference for the past several years, and you should consider it as well!  Here are the topics that previous students have presented at SOURCE:

  • The Modern Heroine is Masculin: Male and Female Heroism during World War I in France • L’héroïne moderne est masculine: l’héroïsme des hommes et femmes dans la première guerre mondiale en France (Jewan Attallah)
  • Transcribing, Coding and Eating Our Way Through a Renaissance French Cookbook (Andrea Sanchez, Jennifer LeCaptain)
  • Beauty and the Beast in Cinema: A Challenge to Gender Roles (McKenzie Cobban)
  • Beauvoir for the Masses: Exploring Applications of Her Philosophy in French Social Revolutions of the 1960’s (Reille Acks)
  • Medieval Redemption for Modern Times: Representations of Sacrifice in Perceval le Gallois and The Fisher King (Tabitha Gerardot)
  • The Politics of Film Adaptation in Zola’s La Bête Humaine (Reillie Acks)
  • Perceval for All Time: Searching for the Holy Grail in Literature and Film (Charlotte J. Lindstrom)
  • Theological Conviviality in “The Religious Banquet”: The Case for Reconciliation between Erasmus and Luther (Kathleen Borchers)

TAPIF – The Teaching Assistant Program in France

The French Ministry of Education and the Cultural Services at the Embassy of France offer each year roughly 1,500 teaching assistant positions in French primary and secondary schools. Many of our Valpo graduates have pursued this opportunity to teach abroad and have found this to be a thoroughly unique avenue by which to not only gain valuable teaching experience but also spend time in France or in one of its overseas departments (“DOM”). Consider applying for this program if you want to further your mastery of French through linguistic immersion while allowing, at the same time, for a privileged insight into contemporary France.

For details on this program, talk with one of your French professors or visit the site of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy.

Fulbright Scholarships

More than 800 American students are offered grants yearly to study, teach English, and conduct research in more than 100 countries throughout the world through the Fulbright Program, which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. Established in 1946, the Fulbright “aims to increase mutual understanding between the peoples of the United States and other countries, through the exchange of persons, knowledge, and skills.” If you have a potential project or wish to teach in another country, and can contribute to bettering ties between America and countries abroad, then you should strongly consider applying.

Valparaiso University is a national leader among master’s level institutions in having its students selected for Fulbright awards. You should know that, in 2008, Valpo won the prestigious Senator Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization from NAFSA: Association of International Educators. VU was recognized as a model for other institutions of higher education in preparing graduates with strong cross-cultural skills and global awareness.

Over 38 Valpo students have won Fulbright scholarships since 2000 to teach or conduct research in Egypt, China, South Korea, Germany and six other countries. Valpo had two recipients in 2011 and three in 2012.

Applications are due in September of your senior year, so it is important to speak with your advisor early.

VU Contact: Anna Stewart, Assistant Dean, Christ College

Outstanding students, not just French majors, may also be eligible for membership in the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa society. Membership in this institution is by nomination only, but you may wish to discuss with your advisor early what criteria are necessary for consideration. For details, consult the society’s campus webpage