Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
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2020-2021

Foreign Language

College of Humanities and Sciences

Concentration(s):
German
Program description

Businesses, non-profit organizations, and government agencies are increasingly looking for employees with real world international experience who are able to communicate in a second language. The Foreign Language program is designed precisely for students to gain this experience and develop their abilities to communicate in a second language. The program offers major concentrations in French, German, and Spanish, as well as minors in French, German, Italian Studies, Russian Studies, and Spanish. The goal of the program is to broaden students’ multicultural perspective and to develop their ability to communicate across cultures so they can succeed in diverse professional environments. The degree encourages students to develop and utilize their abilities to communicate in different languages and to understand the powerful role that language and culture play in shaping every aspect of society. The Foreign Language curriculum places particular emphasis on the study of language as spoken in and shaped by everyday contexts, including work, rest, and recreation, and in and through popular film, music, and media. The Foreign Language degree provides a strong foundation for understanding language and culture and flexibility for students to pursue their own course of study. As is true with World Studies’ degrees in Anthropology, International Studies, and Religious Studies, Foreign Languages offers students opportunities to engage in real world learning through internships, lab-based and field research, and study abroad programs.

Career opportunities

Completing a degree in foreign languages strengthens student ability to secure work in global communications, marketing, public relations, and management; foreign aid and development; journalism; education; foreign service; international affairs, immigration services and the Peace Corps; organizations involved in development, disaster relief, immigration, human rights, and environmental justice advocacy; business and management in a multicultural environment. Graduates of our program will also find opportunities in teaching at home or abroad, as well as in work with a variety of public-service organizations. In addition, an undergraduate degree in foreign language provides excellent background and qualifications for admittance to graduate degree programs in a number of humanities disciplines, including foreign languages and international studies, as well as in international law, diplomacy, business or journalism. We encourage students to double-major in Foreign Language and one of the other majors degrees in the School of World Studies: Anthropology, International Studies or Religious Studies, as doing so strengthens their cumulative knowledge, experience, academic record and resume for success in whatever path they choose after graduation.


Bachelor-level job titles
  • Administrative Assistant
  • Bilingual Customer Service Representative
  • Blogger/Vlogger
  • Community Organizer Associate
  • Copy Editor
  • Digital Marketer
  • ESL - Teacher Assistant
  • Event Planner
  • Flight Attendant
  • Health Systems Front Desk Specialist
  • International Insurance Representative
  • Language Teacher (Private Schools)
Graduate and professional level job titles
  • Diplomat
  • Foreign Correspondent
  • Intelligence Agency Officer
  • Linguistics Specialist
Degree requirements in Bulletin
Plan of study in Bulletin
Highest level of math required
  • MATH 131
Science required
  • 1-2 additional science courses
Foreign language requirements
  • Yes
Additional tuition/fees
  • No
GPA requirements (to progress/graduate in the major)
  • 2.25
Department name:
School of World Studies
Building/room location:
312 North Shafer Street
Campus (where 75% of courses are taken):
Monroe park
Phone:
(804) 827-1111
Email:
info-sws@vcu.edu

Major map compass icon [View Image]
Major map

Explore
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Get familiar with the research process with the VCU Libraries Research Basics Guide. Ask questions about how to use the library.
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor and explore minors, certificates, and skills-based value added courses.  
  • Talk to your professors about research interests, picking future classes, and strategies for success in your program.
  • Complete all prerequisite coursework for major (through 202-level of language).
  • Explore scholarship opportunities for study abroad and strategies for degree success.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Consider short-term, semester and year-long Study Abroad opportunities.
  • Get to know other VCU students and meet new friends from all over the world at a monthly Global Café.
  • Join a cultural or identity-related organization.
  • Attend the SWS Student Research Conference and other International-related events.
  • Attend OMSA Social Justice Conference. 
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Attend Career & Internship Fairs and other professional development events. 
  • Complete a “Gap Analysis” Strategic Plan with your academic or career advisor.
  • Create an ePortfolio to document academic/professional experiences, accomplishments, and reflections.
  • Gain practical experience related to career goals through internships, shadowing, part-time work, or independent skill building.
  • Engage in an active process of career exploration through SWS sequences of workshops and via Career Services.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Conduct informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of career interest.
  • Consider who you would ask to serve as professional and academic references for future letters of recommendation.   
  • Get plugged into VCULink to connect with students and alumni.
  • Meet with a coach at The Money Spot to set financial goals, understand student loans, and create spending plans.

Experience
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Deepen your expertise at finding information in your discipline by working with your subject expert librarian & using research guides.
  • Enhance your business, software, technology and creative skills using LinkedIn Learning.
  • See your academic and career advisors regularly to discuss your progress towards graduation and career planning.
  • Complete WRLD 302 and minimum of 15 credits of 300-level coursework in target language.
  • Start developing your World ePass portfolio.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Apply to be a Diversity Ambassador with the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs.
  • Participate in summer, semester-length or year-long study-abroad experience.
  • Richmond is known for hosting a wide array of festivals! Learn about new cultures, food, and music by attending one of these events.
  • Update your resume to include how you have developed your communication and interpersonal skills for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams.
  • Participate in Foreign Language discussion groups and Conversation Partner program. 
  • Attend OMSA Tunnel of Oppression.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Apply for the Graduate School Mentorship Program to learn more about graduate school and the graduate student experience.
  • Update your ePortfolio.
  • Seek research opportunities and apply for funding through VCU Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program.
  • Start research in preparation to present at the Student Research Conference.
  • Volunteer as a foreign language tutor in area schools, or as a tutor for children and adults learning English. 
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Prepare for job offer negotiation by researching salaries, benefits, and other opportunities for flexibility.
  • Research graduate/professional schools at least 1 year in advance of deadlines. Study for and complete any exams the summer before senior year. 
  • Talk to advisors, faculty, and VCU Career Services about graduate school versus a job.
  • Join job listserv sites that provide access to job postings in desired fields. Revisit gap analysis assessment and continue adjusting strategic career plan with Career Services.

Excel
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNING
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor a semester before your anticipated graduation to ensure all graduation requirements will be met. 
  • Take WRLD 490 Senior Capstone.
  • Complete two 400-level courses in major at VCU.
  • Do an internship (FRLG 493) as a world language teaching assistant in local school systems.
  • Complete the World ePass by the middle of your final semester.
GET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITY
BUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCE
  • Read scholarly articles about diversity in your field.
  • Reflect on your own cultural competency, and be prepared to answer interview questions that outline how you have worked with diverse populations.
  • Build intercultural competence by becoming a conversation partner to an international student.
  • Complete VCU’s TEFL certificate program, an internationally-recognized credential for overseas employment as an English teacher.
GET REAL EXPERIENCE
  • Continue to engage in research to create more content for your ePortfolio.
  • Present your research at conference/meeting such as UROP Undergraduate Research Symposium or other conferences. 
  • Reflect on the experiential learning you have engaged in thus far, and discuss with current or potential mentors (peers, faculty, advisors, alumni, professionals).
  • Expand your network and remember that you can network anywhere.
PREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
  • Complete exams, applications, or self-marketing activities for after graduation.
  • Consider training to become an educator through programs like RTR, which prepares graduates from a variety of majors to become effective teachers in high-need schools.
  • Engage with the VCU Alumni Association at Grad Fair, Grad Bash, and by joining a VCULink Industry Network and alumni chapter as you prepare to graduate.
  • Have a personal statement or cover letter reviewed and do a mock interview through InterviewStream or with a career advisor.
  • Research prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
Visit majormaps.vcu.edu for the online version with links.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost
Major map compass icon [View Image]
2020-2021

Foreign Language

College of Humanities and Sciences

Concentration(s):
French | German | Spanish
MAXIMIZE COURSE AND DEGREE PLANNINGGET CONNECTED WITH YOUR COMMUNITYBUILD CULTURAL COMPETENCEGET REAL EXPERIENCEPREPARING FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE
ExploreYear 1
ExperienceYear 2
  • Get familiar with the research process with the VCU Libraries Research Basics Guide. Ask questions about how to use the library.
  • Schedule an appointment with your advisor and explore minors, certificates, and skills-based value added courses.  
  • Talk to your professors about research interests, picking future classes, and strategies for success in your program.
  • Complete all prerequisite coursework for major (through 202-level of language).
  • Explore scholarship opportunities for study abroad and strategies for degree success.
  • Consider short-term, semester and year-long Study Abroad opportunities.
  • Get to know other VCU students and meet new friends from all over the world at a monthly Global Café.
  • Join a cultural or identity-related organization.
  • Attend the SWS Student Research Conference and other International-related events.
  • Attend OMSA Social Justice Conference. 
  • Attend Career & Internship Fairs and other professional development events. 
  • Complete a “Gap Analysis” Strategic Plan with your academic or career advisor.
  • Create an ePortfolio to document academic/professional experiences, accomplishments, and reflections.
  • Gain practical experience related to career goals through internships, shadowing, part-time work, or independent skill building.
  • Engage in an active process of career exploration through SWS sequences of workshops and via Career Services.
  • Conduct informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of career interest.
  • Consider who you would ask to serve as professional and academic references for future letters of recommendation.   
  • Get plugged into VCULink to connect with students and alumni.
  • Meet with a coach at The Money Spot to set financial goals, understand student loans, and create spending plans.
Year 3
  • Deepen your expertise at finding information in your discipline by working with your subject expert librarian & using research guides.
  • Enhance your business, software, technology and creative skills using LinkedIn Learning.
  • See your academic and career advisors regularly to discuss your progress towards graduation and career planning.
  • Complete WRLD 302 and minimum of 15 credits of 300-level coursework in target language.
  • Start developing your World ePass portfolio.
  • Apply to be a Diversity Ambassador with the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs.
  • Participate in summer, semester-length or year-long study-abroad experience.
  • Richmond is known for hosting a wide array of festivals! Learn about new cultures, food, and music by attending one of these events.
  • Update your resume to include how you have developed your communication and interpersonal skills for future work on multidisciplinary and multicultural teams.
  • Participate in Foreign Language discussion groups and Conversation Partner program. 
  • Attend OMSA Tunnel of Oppression.
  • Apply for the Graduate School Mentorship Program to learn more about graduate school and the graduate student experience.
  • Update your ePortfolio.
  • Seek research opportunities and apply for funding through VCU Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program.
  • Start research in preparation to present at the Student Research Conference.
  • Volunteer as a foreign language tutor in area schools, or as a tutor for children and adults learning English. 
  • Prepare for job offer negotiation by researching salaries, benefits, and other opportunities for flexibility.
  • Research graduate/professional schools at least 1 year in advance of deadlines. Study for and complete any exams the summer before senior year. 
  • Talk to advisors, faculty, and VCU Career Services about graduate school versus a job.
  • Join job listserv sites that provide access to job postings in desired fields. Revisit gap analysis assessment and continue adjusting strategic career plan with Career Services.
ExcelYear 4
  • Schedule an appointment with your academic advisor a semester before your anticipated graduation to ensure all graduation requirements will be met. 
  • Take WRLD 490 Senior Capstone.
  • Complete two 400-level courses in major at VCU.
  • Do an internship (FRLG 493) as a world language teaching assistant in local school systems.
  • Complete the World ePass by the middle of your final semester.
  • Read scholarly articles about diversity in your field.
  • Reflect on your own cultural competency, and be prepared to answer interview questions that outline how you have worked with diverse populations.
  • Build intercultural competence by becoming a conversation partner to an international student.
  • Complete VCU’s TEFL certificate program, an internationally-recognized credential for overseas employment as an English teacher.
  • Continue to engage in research to create more content for your ePortfolio.
  • Present your research at conference/meeting such as UROP Undergraduate Research Symposium or other conferences. 
  • Reflect on the experiential learning you have engaged in thus far, and discuss with current or potential mentors (peers, faculty, advisors, alumni, professionals).
  • Expand your network and remember that you can network anywhere.
  • Complete exams, applications, or self-marketing activities for after graduation.
  • Consider training to become an educator through programs like RTR, which prepares graduates from a variety of majors to become effective teachers in high-need schools.
  • Engage with the VCU Alumni Association at Grad Fair, Grad Bash, and by joining a VCULink Industry Network and alumni chapter as you prepare to graduate.
  • Have a personal statement or cover letter reviewed and do a mock interview through InterviewStream or with a career advisor.
  • Research prospective employers and create a job or graduate school search strategy at least 8 months before graduation.
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