Build your future on a strong foundation
The Franklin Core Curriculum merges academic skills with a strong focus on international and intercultural competencies. These courses give you the tools you need to study, research, communicate and live responsibly, while crossing borders and traveling far from home. The university core represents the heart of the Franklin experience.
First Year Seminar
The Core begins with the First Year Seminar, a course that helps students adapt to academic expectations and the university experience. Your First Year Seminar (FYS) pairs you with a professor, who also serves as your academic advisor, in a discipline of interest to you. The First Year Seminar courses have varying topics but all focus on Franklin's unique culture and the larger Swiss community, providing a basis for cross-cultural interactions and real life in a multicultural environment.
Academic Travel is Franklin's signature program, and it is probably a factor in every Franklin student's choice to attend. Three-credit Academic Travel courses are regular semester courses with a 10-14 day travel period designed to add an experiential learning piece to what is studied in the classroom. Many strong relationships are built between students on Travel, and those experiences are a fundamental part of what defines a Franklin graduate.
Being a student at Franklin means learning to write well in English, as well as being able to use that skill in other languages. After the first year seminar, students enroll in an academic writing course (WTG 150 and/or WTG 200) as part of the year long experience and then later enroll in W-designated courses that are writing intensive. The writing requirement culminates with the capstone course, thesis, or senior project.
Students choose two courses from each of three Areas of Knowledge: Intercultural Competencies, International Engagement and Social Responsibility. These Areas of Knowledge are designed to increase your appreciation for a variety of world views, bring you to a better understanding of the processes and consequences of globalization, and help you develop an awareness of social justice. These 18 credits go beyond experiencing cultural differences and begin to open the door to understanding and guiding change for the future.
As part of the university's mission to help you learn intercultural competencies and to make the most of your experience in Switzerland, the final piece of the Core involves gaining intermediate proficiency in a Swiss language. Students take a sequence of language classes in French, German, or Italian to help them improve their language skills and to integrate in the local community.