World Languages at Aquinas College

World Languages: Graduate Outcomes

Career Opportunities
Majoring or minoring in a second language is a way for students to develop the global knowledge and expertise that are increasingly valued in the marketplace. Proficiency in a second language is in itself a valuable skill, but students gaining that proficiency will also learn to gain new perspectives on other cultures, as well as on American culture and practices.
The following is a list of career possibilities for language majors and minors. It is by no means exhaustive, but is meant merely to suggest to students potential areas for future employment. The Language Department faculty strongly encourage students to discuss their ideas concerning post-graduate employment with professors within and outside the department.

  • International business (import/export; multinational corporations)
  • International banking
  • International and corporate law
  • International consulting
  • International agency staff
  • U.S. Foreign Service
  • Travel & tourism industry
  • Social service agencies
  • Interpreting
  • Translation
  • Education (primary, secondary, college; bilingual education)
  • Writing (journalism; technical writing)
  • Marketing
  • Research
  • Library & information sciences
  • U.S. Customs & Immigration

Study Abroad
The Department of World Languages strongly encourages all Aquinas students to spend time studying abroad, as this experience is essential to improving proficiency in a second language. Time spent abroad offers the student an exceptional opportunity to learn about another culture through classroom experience, social interaction, and an exploration of the history, literature, art and architecture of that culture. The professors in the Department of World Languages are available to assist students in choosing the program that best suits their needs and interests.
Semester-long Study Abroad Opportunities
Aquinas College now offers six semester-long study-abroad programs, through which students generally earn between 12 and 15 language credits. While immersed in another culture, students take courses in language, culture, history and literature, all of which apply toward the requirements for a language major or minor. These programs are now held annually in Salamanca, Spain during the fall semester and Santa Ana, Costa Rica; Perpignan, France; Tokyo, Japan; and Tübingen, Germany during the Spring semester. For further information on these opportunities, see the International Programs web page.
Summer Programs
Some Aquinas students choose to spend a summer abroad rather than a semester or a year. The Languages Department has a number of resources that can help students select a program of summer study.
Service Learning
Students can also gain valuable experience in the context of another culture by participating in one of Aquinas College's Service-Learning Programs, which are jointly taught by faculty within and outside the Languages Department. The Service-Learning Programs consist of a one-semester, preparatory course focusing on the history and culture of the country to be visited. Students wishing to apply credits from these courses toward a language major or minor must do coursework in the language. Service Learning courses have been conducted in English, Spanish, and French. The purpose is to have campus based work which prepares students to perform valuable, ongoing community and humanitarian efforts both locally and abroad.  Travel Experiences have journeyed to Puebla, Mexico, El Llano, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Lima, Peru, New Mexico, and within the greater Grand Rapids area.