The Department of French, Hispanic, and Italian Studies offers a range of programs. Our faculty prides itself on interactive classroom environments, small class sizes, and experiential learning opportunities for students in the community and abroad.
UBC’s Department of French, Hispanic, and Italian Studies offers programs specializing in the languages, literatures, and cultures of various regions around the world.
Specializing in Spanish connects students with a community of approximately 405 million Hispanic speakers. Our program offers Spanish language classes to develop solid communicative and interpersonal skills and our community-based classes introduce students to the local Hispanic community. Spanish majors also learn about the rich literary and artistic manifestations of the Hispanic community. Our Majors seek to apply their Spanish to boost their skills in fields such as International Relations, Commerce, or Chemistry. In short, Spanish Majors develop the linguistic competencies, cultural sensitivity, and interpersonal skills to successfully achieve professional, social, and humanitarian goals in the Hispanic world.
French is one of Canada's two official languages and, after English, the second most widely learned foreign language in the world. In British Columbia graduates from our programmes find employment opportunities in the Province's vibrant French immersion programmes and 37 Francophone schools. Across Canada, French language skills are an asset when applying for federal public sector jobs and a necessity for advancing to higher-ranking positions. With more than 200 million French speakers worldwide, French is among the principal languages of diplomacy and of international organizations. Our Minor, Major or Honours programmes are designed to enhance students’ active communication skills and develop their appreciation of Francophone cultures and literatures. Speaking French offers access to great works of literature, art, music, dance, fashion, cuisine, and cinema.
Romance Studies allows students to study more than one of our Department's languages. The Honours programme offers an initiation to graduate work and to advanced academic writing and research. Honours students participate in our research seminar and, under the guidance of a supervisor, write an extended research paper on an original topic. The research, writing, and project skills that are developed in the Honours project go beyond those of the BA, to the point that a strong Honours degree is often considered equivalent to a Master’s degree and can lead directly to a PhD programme. Honours students are particularly well qualified for professional research positions.
Italy is one of the top seven economies in the world, the third largest in the Euro-zone. It is also a world leader in fields such as fashion, graphic design, interior design and the culinary arts. Italy is a country with an extremely rich cultural history whose legacy in music, architecture, arts, and philosophy is well-recognized around the world: over 60% of the world’s heritage sites are found in Italy! At UBC, we offer a wide range of courses in which students develop communicative skills and explore Italian literature, arts and culture in a global context. We also offer courses specific to career fields (Italian for Opera) and project-based courses in the community and abroad. Courses in the target language are offered up to the fourth year, and the degree is designed to offer students the greatest flexibility, depending on their specific objectives.
With more than 250 million speakers across every continent, it is the 7th most widely spoken language in the world. In Canada alone, there are over 400 thousand citizens of Portuguese descent and, due to Brazil’s prominence on the global stage, Portuguese is considered one of the most strategically significant languages on the international scene. The Portuguese program at UBC offers a variety of courses for students at many levels of language proficiency and understanding. It is designed to enhance active communication skills and to develop an appreciation of the various cultures of the Portuguese-speaking world. UBC offers 1st, 2nd, and 3rd year language courses based on diverse cultural contexts, as well as Brazilian literature and culture courses offered in English. The Portuguese language serves as a gateway to the rich diversity of Lusophone (Portuguese-speaking) history, music, literature, cinema, and art.