The French language is spoken by 118 million people living not only in France, but also in other parts of Europe as well as in Canada, the Caribbean, North and Sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. It is a major international language of the arts, commerce, diplomacy, and science. In the United States, as of 2013, more students study French than any other foreign language except Spanish. French is one of the working languages of such international institutions as the United Nations, the European Union, the World Health Organization, and the World Trade Organization, and it is the sole language used for the deliberations of the Court of Justice of the European Union. It is an official language of 29 countries.
The centuries-old relationship of anglophone and francophone cultures is manifest in a rich common heritage. Some 30% of English words are of French origin, and the artistic, literary, and philosophical ties between France and English-speaking countries are countless.
RLL's French program offers training in the spoken and written language through small, highly interactive classes. Texts, films and special events showcase the literatures and cultures of French-speaking world regions both past and present. French students are strongly encouraged to study abroad for a summer, a semester, or a full year. There are quality affordable SUNY programs throughout France as well as in Quebec, Senegal, Morocco, and Switzerland.