France, one of the "old" countries of Europe, has played and continues to play a major economic and political role in the world. A member of the UN, NATO, UNESCO, the International Labor Bureau, the Council of Europe, the European Union and more, France also exerts a strong cultural influence in the world and is a leading trading nation, excelling in areas such as food, wine, fashion, aviation, public transportation, military industry, medicine, science and technological innovations.

The influence of the French language extends well beyond its borders. French, the second truly global language after English, is spoken not only in Europe but in parts of the US and across its border in Canada (Québec and the other provinces), South America, Africa, the Middle East, South East Asia and the Pacific. French is the 3rd most frequently spoken non-English language in US homes and the second most commonly taught foreign language in the United States (after Spanish).
French is the third largest of the Romance languages in terms of number of native speakers, after Spanish and Portuguese, being spoken by about 109 million people as a mother tongue, and altogether by some 264 million people (including second-language speakers and learners). French is thus the 10th most spoken language in the world by number of native speakers, and 5th in terms of daily speakers. It is an official language in 29 countries. French is also an official or administrative language in several communities and international organisations (such as the European Union, International Olympic Committee, World Trade Organization, FINA, FIA, World Anti-Doping Agency, United Nations, African Union, International Court of Justice, Internation Secretariat for Water, International Association of Political Science, International Bureau of Weights and Measures, European Broadcasting Union, Universal Postal Union, Interpol and so on) and one of the six working languages of the United Nations.

A knowledge of French language and French and Francophone cultures offers assets to students interested in various fields of study such as politics, international relations, literature, history, philosophy, psychology, the arts, cinema, fashion, medicine and business.

The French have had a long standing relationship with the United States, from Revolutionary times to the present. In the Delaware Valley, these ties are still present, whether it be through Ben Franklin, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Rodin Museum or the architecture of various buildings and avenues in Philadelphia and the region that reflect French style.

Our region is also the site of French speaking people from various countries, a bilingual French-American school and numerous French firms implanted here, as the French-American Chamber of Commerce, the largest of the 14 bi-national chambers of commerce in the region, evidences (there are at least 2,400 French subsidiaries in the US, providing more than 500, 000 direct jobs. US subsidiaries in France provide about 580, 000 direct jobs), not forgetting delightful eating places and "pâtisseries".

Thinking of going abroad? France remains the first destination in the world and Paris the most visited city.

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