The Department of French and Italian believes that study abroad is an essential part of a student's preparation as a language major. Students who major in French are required to spend at least a semester in a French-speaking country; students who minor in Italian are highly encouraged to take at least a semester of study in Italy.
The French department encourages students to spend an entire academic year of study abroad. The department maintains a close relationship with Hamilton College's Junior Year in France program, which is located in Paris, and which allows students to take courses at a variety of institutions.
Colby has its own program in France, Colby in Dijon. This program of intensive language study is offered every year during the fall semester, and is open to incoming first-year students who wish to accelerate their progress in French, sometimes, but not always, with a view to becoming a French major.
The department also encourages study in a variety of French-speaking countries on continents other than Europe. Students may choose to study in neighboring Quebec, or on the African continent, where French majors have spent semesters in Senegal, Madagascar, and Cameroon. Prospective French majors should consult early with their advisors to prepare their study abroad plans for their junior year. JanPlan programs have been offered in Morocco and Guadeloupe. The Colby African Studies Program also offers information on study abroad programs in francophone African countries.
Students who minor in Italian should consult with the director of the Italian program to find the most appropriate program for study. Colby maintains a close relationship with a number of programs in Italy, in particular those in Rome, Padua, Bologna, Ferrara and Florence.