The world is tied together by many bonds--economic, diplomatic and human--and because of technological advances in transportation and communication, an increasing number of Americans rely on the knowledge of a foreign language. Concentrated study of the languages and cultures of other nations contributes significantly to the improvement of international relations.
The Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures offers majors in Ancient Greek and Roman Studies, French Studies, German Studies, Italian Studies, Russian Studies, Spanish Studies, and Three Languages; teaching majors in Latin, French, German, Italian, and Spanish; and joint majors with the Departments of Business Administration, History, and Political Science/International Relations. It also collaborates with other departments to offer three interdisciplinary area studies majors: European Studies, East Asian Studies, International Business Studies, and Latin American Studies. The curricular emphasis for undergraduates is placed on competence in a foreign language along with knowledge and appreciation of the civilization, culture, and literature of the peoples concerned. The Department sponsors study abroad programs in France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Russia, Spain, Costa Rica, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, China, Japan, Ghana, and Tunisia.
Employment possibilities for foreign language majors include the many positions available to humanities students in any field. For bilinguals there are openings in foreign countries as well as in the United States. Graduates have found jobs in teaching, translating, foreign diplomacy, foreign correspondence, travel agencies, international airlines, import-export work, international corporations, banking, and in agencies of the federal government. Foreign language competence is an asset to urban workers in social work, public health, and law enforcement. While graduates with skills and backgrounds only in foreign languages may encounter keen competition for jobs, as a supplement to other skills the knowledge of a foreign language is a valuable professional commodity.
Check the Dictionary of Occupational Titles under section 137 for additional related careers.
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