Inquire at Marygrove College
Visit us at Marygrove College
Apply at Marygrove College

International Studies Overview

Study Abroad Advisor • Bilingual Assistant • Business Manager • Court & School Mediator • Foreign Service Worker • Publications Manager • Public Relations Expert • Technical & Scientific Writer • Translator • Website Editor

This international studies program, coupled with second language fluency in Arabic, French, or Spanish, is designed to prepare you with the ability to communicate effectively or conduct business in a multicultural and global environment in the US and abroad. As a student in this program, you will develop strong writing and speaking skills in more than one language; you will gain the necessary understanding for interacting and negotiating with a diverse workforce in fields such as sales, the airline and tourism industries, health care, counseling, human resources, communication and public relations, and legal advocacy; and you will be prepared to work within a broad range of industries, governmental agencies, multinational corporations, social organizations, and educational institutions.

This degree is offered as a collaborative effort by the Departments of English and Modern Languages, Business, Humanities, Political Science, Sociology, and History. Requirements include core content courses, language courses, and one of two concentrations, not to exceed a total of 72 semester hours, in addition to general education credits.

Here are some of the reasons why you might like to include language study as a part of your professional training.

Arabic, which is used by approximately 200 million speakers in 24 Middle Eastern, North African, and Sub-Saharan African countries, is the fifth most spoken language in the world and is quickly becoming one of the most important international languages for business and international relations. Although Arabic is also widely spoken in some parts of the United States, there is a recognized shortage of trained speakers of Arabic in North America.

French competes with English and Spanish as a leading “international” language and remains an important tool for anyone who plans to go into international business or law. French is spoken not only in France, but also by millions of people in 34 other nations around the world in Europe, North America, the Caribbean, and Africa.

Spanish is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world – and in the U.S. The ability to speak Spanish is a skill applicable to a wide range of careers, both at the domestic and international levels, including law, business, and international trade.

This interdisciplinary degree will prepare you for a wide range of professions. For example, you may seek careers as translators, bilingual assistants, customer service representatives, multinational marketers, international entrepreneurs, business managers, publications managers, web site editors, foreign service workers, coordinators of multicultural recruitment, diversity trainers, court and school mediators, agency or foundation administrators, and public relations experts.

This degree can also lead to a variety of graduate fields of studies, for example, International Business, Business Management, Educational Leadership, Human Resources, Professional Communication, Translation, International Studies, Area Studies, Cultural Studies, Intercultural Communication, Cross-Cultural Studies, and Community Counseling.

The Translation Certificate Program
While pursuing the bachelor’s degree with the Translation Concentration, you can earn a Translation Certificate if you complete each translation course in the five-course sequence with a grade of B or better.

First-hand Language Experience
You will find that you will get the most out of your language program if you take every opportunity to speak Arabic, French, or Spanish and to immerse yourself in Arabic-, French-, or Spanish-speaking cultures.

A short study abroad experience is one of the core requirements for the major. In addition, Marygrove offers semester and summer abroad programs, and credits from these programs can apply to the major with prior approval. Work and volunteer abroad opportunities, summer jobs, and work/study placements can also put you in touch with Arabic, French, and Spanish-speaking people. You might consider part-time jobs with businesses that have Arabic, French, or Spanish international operations.

Prior Language Experience
If you can demonstrate near-native proficiency in French or Spanish (after taking a language proficiency exam, administered by the Modern Languages Program Director), Marygrove will waive FRE/SPA 151, 250, and 251 for you. In addition, you may substitute three other courses for the required 300-level courses in French or Spanish. You can either take other 300-level French or Spanish courses or take courses in a second foreign language at the 151 level or higher; you can also take three additional Humanities or English classes.

If you can demonstrate near-native proficiency in Arabic or another modern language, you will satisfy the language requirement by taking three classes in a second language at the 151 level or higher, or three additional English writing classes. You can receive up to 12 hours of modern language credit through the Advanced Placement and CLEP programs (after taking a language proficiency exam, administered by the Modern Languages Program Director), or you may transfer college credit in Spanish, French, Arabic, or other modern languages not offered at Marygrove.