Bonjour: An in-depth look into the QC French Club

Bonjour! Are you looking for a club that is diverse, culturally immersive and is connected to helpful resources regarding studying abroad, learning the French language and learning about French and francophone culture? Then French and Francophone Club is the right club for you that will open many doors for you once you join. 

The members of the French and Francophone Club reflect the diversity of the larger  francophone community around the world, and the club presents a great opportunity to get to know other people’s backgrounds as well as opening doors to learning about other francophone nations. Francophone, or a French speaking country, is inclusive of other places besides France, such as Haiti and Canada. You don’t need to have a background of French or have grown up in a culture where French is spoken by the majority of people to join this club. Anybody who is curious or has an interest in French and francophone culture, language, literature, and/or studying abroad can join. The E-Board (executive board) members have such an extensive knowledge on all of these areas and they are more than willing to share their experiences and knowledge with those who are interested.  

The E-Board members, Darvin Marte, Aida Quattara, Katarzyna (Kat) Zajac and Alania Schwartz have all been to Paris to study abroad and have brought back with them information on how to apply for the program and knowledge about French culture. During the most recent meeting that took place on Monday, all of the eboard members put together a slideshow on how to get to Paris, how to book a flight, where to stay and the pros and cons of staying in those places, how to get around, where to eat, and what to do around the city of Paris. From their personal experiences they bring a piece of French culture to each club meeting. Marte, who is the secretary and majoring in Political Science and minoring in French and BALA said that he loves “sharing and experiencing French culture and food with people who aren’t as familiar with the culture”. And they certainly did that with two recent meetings back in September and October.  

For the first general interest meeting that took place on September 25th, the board members held a picnic on the quad or an “apero” which is a break taken before dinner when snacks are eaten. The delicious snacks served sweet goat cheese, hard cheddar, brie cheese, crackers, grapes, and Martinelli’s sparkling cider. Everyone in attendance enjoyed each other’s company under the warm sun while learning about the club and apero. 

Another example of the club bringing an immersive experience to a meeting was the Annual Crepe Party that took place on October 28th. Held in the comfort of Remsen Hall Room 300, where the former Home Economics major used to be. Students served themselves to sweet crepes with different fruit spreads, nutella, and sliced bananas, and savory crepes with a variety of french cheeses such as mimolette, brie, roquefort, and camembert. Prior to food being served Kathryn Gebhard from the French Embassy Cultural Services presented the France on Campus Award to Pedro Lamarre and Nathalie Salomon on behalf of themselves and all of the student writers from the French Club’s Hors-Centre publication. 

The E-board members have high hopes for the club going into the future. Zajac, the president and a second degree student majoring in French, hopes students who attend events in the future come away with a better understanding of how useful/rewarding knowledge of the French language or of French/Francophone culture can be to them in their future careers. She also said that the goal of the club is to “host more events next semester, so that all of us francophiles have more opportunities to get together, to learn new things, and to enjoy new experiences”.