French and German: Bilingualism and Cultural Exchange
With its day-to-day bilingual environment, Fribourg University alone offers the possibility of studying German and French as native languages in equal proportions. The «French and German: Bilingualism and Cultural Exchange» study programme combines this particular offer with the intensive consolidation of skills in the respective foreign language at the start of the course in addition to targeted modules that provide an understanding of the linguistic and cultural exchanges between both areas. The foreign language didactics field of study (German as a Foreign Language and French as a Foreign Language) is therefore an essential component of this study programme alongside German and French studies. With student life in the bilingual university city, Fribourg is the ideal environment in which to engage in practical and theoretical considerations of German and French bilingualism.
Profile of the study programme
At Fribourg University, both French and German language and literature studies are possible at native language level. This situation is unique in Switzerland for academic bilingualism. The French and German: Bilingualism and Cultural Exchange study programme combines this particular offer with the option of consolidating skills in the respective foreign language in the first year, with a view to graduates being part of the common bilingual environment. Through cross-disciplinary cooperation with the French and German as a foreign language study programmes, which are unique in Switzerland, access to foreign language didactics and lessons on fostering exchanges between both languages and cultures are offered at the same time. Given that between 40% and 50% of lessons are given in the foreign language, the resulting bachelor's degree bears the additional distinction of «Bilingual curriculum, French/German».
This course is essentially aimed at students who grew up with either language or culture and who wish to consolidate their language, literary and cultural knowledge in the foreign or second language. Native speakers from both language areas work together, thus enabling them to gain further knowledge of the other language and literature. In addition, students on this programme benefit from the bilingual environment of the University and the city. Fribourg provides the optimal conditions for language acquisition and for discussions through the interlingual and intercultural exchanges between both linguistic and cultural areas.
The University of Fribourg offers a convenient framework for lectures and studies. In addition to the acquisition of a wide range of basic knowledge, students work in small groups, making direct exchanges with lecturers possible.
Organisation of studies
The core of the study programme comprises a combination of German and French studies as a minor field of study. The content is enhanced through the consolidation and development of language skills in the second or foreign language through participation in language learning opportunities at the University's Language Centre. It is also recommended that students spend time at a partner university in the language area where the foreign language is spoken. At the crossroads between two language communities, the University of Fribourg is the ideal location for bilingual studies. Students can take part in language tandems and find many ways to fully immerse themselves in the second language.
In addition to the consolidation of language skills, an understanding of the language and cultural contacts and exchanges is an essential component of this study programme. This is why the course also focuses on specialist skills such as methodological and didactic approaches to teaching foreign languages in cooperation with the German as a Foreign Language and French as a Foreign Language study programmes. In particular, the modules of this course foster different specialist perspectives for in-depth considerations of language and cultural exchanges and the acquisition of well-grounded knowledge of the specific features and issues.
Learning outcomes and career openings
Graduates of the study programme benefit from a fundamental knowledge of French and German language and literature. In terms of language skills, the study programme is aimed at gaining a very good command of the foreign or second language, which opens up scope for unrestricted participation in the relevant master's studies and above all access to linguistic practice and cultural life. The bachelor programme specifically provides direct access to various master programmes such as German, French, German as a Foreign Language/German as a Second Language (DaF/DaZ), French as a Foreign Language/French as a Second Language (FLE/FLS), Multilingualism Studies and Foreign Language Didactics or Comparative Literature. A master's in German or French can lead on to teacher education for academic upper secondary schools (Formation à l'enseignement pour les écoles de maturité (DEEM, French-speaking section)/Ausbildung für den Unterricht an Maturitätsschulen (LDM, German-speaking section)).
Furthermore, the knowledge and experience of cultural and linguistic interaction between German and French acquired through the study programme are key skills, applicable not only to the Swiss labour market but also of importance beyond the country's borders. These skills can be associated with various advanced professional specialisations in the fields of international relations, cultural activities, public relations and communications.
Structure of studies
180 ECTS credits, 6 semesters
The following Swiss school-leaving certificates grant admission to bachelor programmes at the University of Fribourg:
- Swiss academic Maturity Certificate
- Federal vocational or specialised Baccalaureate + supplementary examination of the Swiss Maturity Commission (passerelle)
- Bachelor Degree from a Swiss university, from an accredited Swiss university of applied sciences (HES/FH) or from a Swiss university of teacher education (HEP/PH)
A complete list of all further recognised Swiss school-leaving certificates is to be found on the webpages of swissuniversities (in French and German only): http://studies.unifr.ch/go/en-admission-swiss-certificates
Foreign upper secondary school-leaving certificates are recognised only if they correspond substantially to the Swiss Maturity Certificate. They must qualify as general education. Foreign school-leaving certificates are considered to be general education if the last three years of schooling include at least six general education subjects, independent from each other, in accordance with the following list:
- First language (native language)
- Second language
- Natural sciences (biology or chemistry or physics)
- Humanities and social sciences (geography or history or economics/law)
- Elective (computer sciences or philosophy or an additional language or an additional subject from category 4 or 5)
The general admission requirements to the bachelor programmes at the University of Fribourg for holders of foreign school-leaving certificates as well as the admission requirements for individual countries are to be found on the webpages of swissuniversities: http://studies.unifr.ch/go/en-admission-countrylist
In addition, foreign candidates must present proof of sufficient language skills in French or German.
The assessment of foreign school-leaving certificates is based on the «CRUS Recommendations for the Assessment of Foreign Upper Secondary School-Leaving Certificates, 7 September 2007» (http://studies.unifr.ch/go/crus07en). The admission requirements are valid for the respective academic year. The Rectorat of the University of Fribourg reserves the right to change these requirements at any time.