FREN-300 Presents Opportunity for Virtual Travel in May Term

‘No Passport Needed, Just Curiosity!’


Daniel Foster via Creative Commons

A new course called Francophone Cinema is being added to a list of 2021 May Terms courses. The course will allow students to have an immersive cultural experience while being in the comfort of their own dwellings.

Brooke DiCicco, Staff Writer

Bridgewater, Va. – A new May Term is now being offered called Francophone Cinema, which plans to give a travel-like experience to students in the course. The course will meet the Global Dynamics requirement. 

Registrar Cynthia Howdyshell-Shull stated that all travel courses have been cancelled for the May Term of 2021, and the classes planned are similar to this year’s offerings of in-person and remote courses. 

Francophone Cinema will be taught by Instructor of World Languages and Cultures Susan Dixon.

“The course will explore the cultures of French-speaking countries and regions around the world through cinematic representations of these areas,” said Dixon. 

“Films from Western Africa, Europe, Canada, the Caribbean, and Asia that represent diverse perspectives will immerse students in dissimilar cultures with varied worldviews, creating opportunities for intercultural learning and reflection. It will kind of be a virtual travel course, discovering facets of the world from our living rooms,” said Dixon. “No passport needed, just curiosity!”

Dixon said that the course Food Cultures of Italy that she originally was going to teach in Rome this May Term was canceled due to COVID-19, which influenced Francophone Cinema to start this year. 

“We can’t travel abroad right now, but this course allows us to glimpse different countries and cultures from their perspectives, which is in some ways better than being a tourist and visiting famous sites without seeing how people actually live,” said Dixon. “For students who have taken some French, hearing the language will enhance their listening skills, and, of course, students can fulfill the FILA Global Dynamics requirement.”

The goal of FREN-300, according to Dixon, is to “introduce students to the diversity of cultures where French is spoken, to practice engaging with diverse perspectives through civil discourse, and to reflect on one’s own culture in relation to others.”

For those that do not have a background in French, the course will not be an issue as there will be English subtitles in the films.

As of March 2021, Bridgewater College is planning for travel May Term courses in 2022. A list of these are currently found on MyBC in the Campus Bulletin Academics section.