Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why should I study a language?
Although English has become the twentieth century's leading commercial and diplomatic language, world language study will be of increasing importance in the years ahead. As technology continues to conquer the obstacles of time and space, the outlook is for even greater travel, commerce, and cultural exchange between the Upper Midwest and the rest of the world.

World Language and Culture training is already indispensable for many positions in the modern world. Government service, social work, journalism, research, transportation, and the growing field of international business are just a few of the areas where the knowledge of a world language could be the key to exciting careers.

Which language should I study?
This depends on the student. By the time many students enter college, they have already had some language experience that they might wish to pursue. Others prefer to start another world language. The choice may be influenced by ethnic background; it may be influenced by career goals There may be other personal considerations. If students are interested in world language study but want guidance in selecting a language, they should seek advice of someone with experience in language study. Any faculty member will be glad to help.

Which degree should I pursue?
Students who decide to become language majors or minors must still decide which degree is best for them. Any course of study will include language, literature, and culture/civilization sequences. The emphasis varies according to the degree being earned. The B.S. degree program emphasizes communication skills: oral communication, conversation, composition, and culture/civilization. Students in the B.S. degree program often elect a double major, combining world language study with another academic or professional major such as international relations or business. The bachelor of arts degree offers greater depth in the study of literature. Students in the B.A. degree program frequently pursue their interests in graduate school. The bachelor of science in teaching (B.S.T.) prepares students for classroom instruction.

How long does it take to learn a language?
The length of time that students devote to language study depends on their objectives. Eight hours of study will satisfy the B.A. requirement. The ability to communicate in a second or third language takes both time and commitment to acquire. Reading skills can be acquired sooner than speaking skills. Students with no previous language study may wish to sample for only one semester. The language department is prepared to meet any of these objectives.

What study abroad opportunities are there?
If you would like more information about our study abroad programs, please visit our Study Abroad page.

How do I contact the Department of World Languagues & Cultures?
Contact World Languages & Cultures.