Dominique Butler-Borruat, Lecturer & Head, RC French

Dear Newly Admitted Student, 

Herzliche Glückwünsche!             Поздравления! 

おめでとう            ! Félicitations !           ¡Felicidades! 

You might have guessed that those greetings were congratulating you on your admission to the University of Michigan in German, Russian, Japanese, French, and Spanish! You made an excellent decision in selecting UM and you may make an ever more consequential one by becoming an RC student!

I have been teaching at the RC for 30 years and I cannot think of a better environment to foster student learning and nurture one’s intellectual curiosity. As a foreign language instructor and RC French Program Head, I thought you might be interested in finding out about opportunities either pursuing your high school language or starting a new one.  

We do encourage students, especially those who have already studied a language for many years, to explore other options because learning a language at the RC is a unique experience! We also invite students who studied a language other than German, Russian, Japanese, French and Spanish to consider an RC language since taking an intensive language plays a significant socializing role the first semester at UM. Actually, it is very common for RC students to meet their first, if not their best, college friends, in their language class!  

You may know that languages at the RC are a core component of its curriculum. The RC is well-known for its highly effective language programs. If mastering another language is one of your goals, you would be in the right place as we provide a semi-immersion experience in which emphasis is placed on communicative competence.

Language table with Olga López-Cotín, RC Spanish Program

Co-curricular activities, such as language tables and coffee hours will offer you the opportunity to practice the language in informal settings. After passing the Proficiency exam, which concludes the two levels of intensive instruction, you will take a readings course.

In these seminar-type courses, you will no longer study the language as an end but use it to explore other areas such as the literature, history, or philosophy of another culture or cultures of your language. 

You may become one of the many RC students who elects to pursue one of the five RC languages as one of your concentrations or as a minor and who decides to live and to study abroad. You may even opt to add another RC language to your list of accomplishments!

RC students typically have a strong interest in languages and are seeking ways to use it outside of the classroom. For example, you may be interested in becoming a tutor who supports students in need of additional help. Many RC students are involved in social justice organizations and community activism, and most RC language programs offer students several opportunities to apply their language by volunteering in the wider community. 

And even if you do not continue to study a language beyond the RC language requirement, you will not only have achieved a very solid linguistic competency, but you will also have acquired transferable abilities such as analytical, communication and cross-cultural skills, all of which are valuable assets in any career path you may choose. Being exposed to other cultures and understanding them will also have contributed to you becoming a responsible global citizen.

Mastering a language is only one of the many opportunities that await you at the RC. I hope you will join our community of teachers and learners!


Go Blue! Стань синим!    Geh blau!   青くなりなさい! ¡Vamos azul!    Allez les Bleus !


Dominique Butler-Borruat
Sylvie Carduner Collegiate Lecturer
Residential College French Program Head