What does the French Language and Literature and Latin Language Study Programme offer?
The Department of French Language and Literature was founded in 2007, and it is one of the six departments that currently exist at the Faculty of Philology, University of Banja Luka. In the meantime, its study programme was expanded and renamed the French Language and Literature and Latin Language Study Programme. This bachelor programme, which takes four years to complete, trains students for linguistic, literary and didactic research, for introducing innovation to the teaching of French and Latin, and for modernising the teaching of French to senior primary school students and/or secondary school students. Students are also acquainted with how the knowledge they have can be put into practice, and meet the formal requirements to continue their education and develop professionally in the country and abroad.
Enrolment in the French Language and Literature and Latin Language Study Programme
All candidates who apply for this study programme take an entrance examination before they can enroll. The entrance examination for the French Language and Literature and Latin Language Study Programme consists of two tests, a test in French (the beginner’s level) and a test in Serbian, both of which are weighted an equal number of points (twenty-five). Preceding the entrance examination, the Faculty of Philology organises preparatory classes over a period of two days, in which the teaching assistants working at the French Department prepare candidates for the exam.
What are the employment opportunities for graduates of the French Language and Literature and Latin Language Study Programme?
Upon completing the bachelor programme, students are awarded the academic title of French Language and Literature and Latin Teacher. The study programme provides students with the theoretical knowledge and practical skills needed to work as primary and secondary school teachers of French language and literature and Latin, as translators/interpreters, and also in the diplomacy sector and culture and public information institutions (as librarians, journalists, editors in publishing houses, literary critics, cultural scholars, etc.).
Also, graduates can continue their education by entering the second-cycle study programme (master programme), which lasts one year (two terms) and completes with students writing and defending a master thesis on a selected topic. After they complete the second cycle, students have the opportunity to enrol in the third cycle (doctoral programme).
Thanks to the close collaboration between the French Department and several French and francophone European universities, students are eligible for grants that allow them to continue their formal education abroad or find employment with foreign francophone companies.
What are the pros of studying French language and literature and Latin at the Faculty of Philology in Banja Luka?
We believe our mission to be our students’ satisfaction with the quality of the education we provide for them and their being fully qualified to do the jobs they are trained for after they graduate. Therefore, we are convinced our faculty must continuously develop academically and professionally by exchanging information with their foreign colleagues. One precondition for the fulfilment of this mission concerns finding ways for the majority of our students to get a study grant and spend at least one term at one of our partner universities in a French-speaking country. Our professors and teaching assistants’ commitment to our internationalisation goals is best attested to by the students themselves, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIs9swWSkJ4&t=78s.
Graduates of the French Language and Literature and Latin Language Study Programme worked or work as French and Latin teachers in Banja Luka, Laktaši, Gradiška, Nevesinje, Eastern Sarajevo, Brčko, Bijeljina, Novi Grad, Čelinac, as well as France and Canada. A portion of our graduates also find employment outside the education system, as senior associates in different fields and sectors, or as certified court interpreters.
Collaboration agreements with foreign universities
Since its establishment, the French Department has been open for collaboration with foreign partners. This is primarily the University of Belgrade and the University of Novi Sad, whose faculty still teach at the Department, as well as French universities, such as the University of Tours and the University of Poitiers. All our faculty spent at least a part of their formal academic development at universities in French-speaking countries. In that sense, the Department of French Language and Literature and Latin Language has been generously supported by the Embassy of France and the Embassy of Switzerland in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Our collaboration with the University of Poitiers (France) has produced impressive results, especially when it comes to faculty and student exchange. Since we started collaboration in 2011, three professors from the Faculty of Philology in Banja Luka have received the prestigious Coimbra research scholarship, awarded by Coimbra Group Universities, a network of Europe’s oldest universities. Our faculty also participate regularly in the summer school organised in June every other year by the University of Poitiers, where they teach about French language and culture. The two-week event is now a tradition that brings together representatives from Southeastern European universities, and it is an excellent opportunity for exchanging scientific information, which can then be put into practice in the classroom.
It is the faculty of the French Department – thanks to their efforts, hard work and commitment – who deserve credit for such excellent collaboration results. Aware that good personal contacts with colleagues abroad are critical for development, our professors are dedicated to attracting ever more foreign partners with their research results and quality teaching.
Thanks to its developed international collaboration, the Department of French Language and Literature and Latin Language has hosted a great number of French language instructors, who taught at the Department as part of their academic internship. Our sophomores designed the first ever tourist webpage of the city of Banja Luka in French with the assistance of language instructor Marion Roussey, https://visiterbanjaluka.wordpress.com/. This webpage has also been published on the offical website of the University of Poitiers, with the aim of promoting our city and the University to its faculty and students applying for outgoing scholarships, http://ll.univ-poitiers.fr/didalang-fles/mobilite/.
Are study grants available and what is the procedure for obtaining one?
Each November, the Embassy of France in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with its offices in Sarajevo, advertises an annual grant competition for master and doctoral students. A lot of our students have won this grant, and quite a few of them now work as teachers and interpreters/translators in Bosnia and Herzegovina and abroad. Erasmus+ scholarships are available to bachelor students in their senior year, as well as to master and doctoral students. This scholarship fully covers the cost of spending one term at a partner university in France.
Our students can also apply for the francophone traineeships offered by the Francophone University Agency (AUF, https://www.auf.org/).
Students of the Faculty of Philology are eligible for several types of grants awarded by the Government of the Republic of Srpska. Every year, at the end of October, the Ministry of Education and Culture runs five different scholarship programmes, namely:
- A scholarship programme for successful bachelor, master and doctoral students enrolled in the Republic of Srpska;
- A scholarship programme for bachelor students in the category of other students;
- A scholarship programme for bachelor, master and doctoral students studying abroad;
- A scholarship programme for bachelor, master and doctoral students with disabilities, who are also beneficiaries of the Disability Allowance;
- A scholarship programme for bachelor students domiciled in one of the Republic of Srpska’s underdeveloped municipalities.
The scholarship competitions are advertised in the Independent Newspaper daily and on the web portal of the Government of the Republic of Srpska, more specifically, on the website of the Ministry of Education and Culture, www.vladars.net.
Exceptionally successful students are eligible for the Dr Milan Jelić Foundation grants, which are offered annually. The Foundation awards grants to especially gifted undergraduate and postgraduate students, enrolled in a first, second or third-cycle study programme at a local or foreign university. The competition opens at the end of October. For more information, please visit the official web page of the Foundation, www.fondmilanjelic.org.
In addition to these scholarships, students are eligible for so-called city or municipal grants, awarded by their local city or municipal administrations.