The Department of French Culture

International Studies in a Welcoming Community

The Department of French Culture at Bar-Ilan University is the only department in Israel where you can earn full academic degrees in French or enrich your core program with one or more courses. We offer diverse courses in French culture, literature, and history as well as French language and linguistics courses leading to the internationally recognized certificate in French-language acquisition, Diplôme d’études en langue française (DELF) of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, teaching, assessment (CEFR).

Our department is a home for students from Israel and around the world, speakers of different mother tongues, international students and new immigrants from France and other countries—all learning together in harmony and engaging in a friendly and active community.

Our faculty of dynamic scholars maintain vast national and international research collaborations. They are highly devoted educators, teaching and instructing their students in French, Hebrew, and English. The department’s library holds unique collections and is the richest and most up-to-date in the Middle East.


French speakers, francophones, or non-francophones? You are all welcome!


Some of our students have previous knowledge of French language and culture, while others start their journey with us and acquire knowledge and develop skills in French, reaching full proficiency with their degree.

Our versatile and flexible program enables each student to integrate French courses into his or her curriculum, according to individual interests and professional aspirations.

We offer four main fields of study:

  • French language classes from beginners to advanced levels are also open to those who wish to learn French for purposes other than an academic degree. French-speakers at any level will find in our department intensive courses in discourse analysis, pragmatics, rhetoric, argumentation and sociolinguistics needed to complete an undergraduate degree (BA) and to receive the internationally recognized certificate in French-language acquisition, Diplôme d’études en langue française (DELF) of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages: Learning, teaching, assessment (CEFR).


  • French linguistics courses provide extensive knowledge of the French language and modern linguistic research methods. We explore simple and complex sentence morphology, syntax and semantics, and linguistic theories. We also offer courses that focus on discourse interpretation, linguistics and epistemology, linguistics and literature, journalistic discourse and objectivity in discourse, and theories of argumentation.


  • French culture courses provide the foundations of French history and culture. Several examples of our rich and fascinating program: The birth of French culture from the earliest texts in French to the crystallization of French as a dominant language in modernity. Literature and ethics: French literature from World War I and World War II (occupation, deportation, genocide). Literature in post-colonial Sub-Saharan Africa: violence, civil wars, genocide, women’s literature. Transmedial literature: writers’ talk, the literary interview, controversies in literature, prize-winning authors, literary manifestos. Franco-Belgian comics: the French and Belgian graphic novel, comics and the Holocaust, autobiographical comics. Language and society: language and gender, language and ideology, language and conflict. Rhetoric: rhetorical tools for analyzing texts, great speeches. Two online courses address the art of French gastronomy; other courses deal with museums and art in France and cultural changes in contemporary France.


  • French literature courses deal with classical and topical subjects such as the novel, the detective novel, comics, allegories, folklore, fiction, poetry, and plays. They also cover several French-speaking regions, from France to Belgium, Canada, the Caribbean, and other francophone regions. They include authors from Marie de France and Joachim du Bellay, via Molière, Racine, and Descartes, Balzac, Flaubert, and Zola to the contemporaneous Condé, Houellebecq, Tuil, and many others.


The Department of French Culture at Bar-Ilan University puts emphasis on the representation of Judeo-French identity and culture in French literature and history, including anti-Semitism in France, France during the Holocaust, and the image of French Jews from the Middle Ages to the present.
Because France is a global political, economic, and cultural superpower, our graduates enjoy advantages in the job market. French language is required in many important international organizations, such as the UN, NATO, and UNESCO, and in the Israeli media for the French-speaking public. Moreover, French studies are a springboard for further studies at leading institutions across the world.

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