While serving as head of world languages and as a French teacher at West Lafayette High School, Steve Ohlhaut helped his students make connections with foreign students by developing a writing and travel exchange with a high school in France.
The School of Languages and Cultures offers undergraduate courses in language, literature, linguistics, culture, civilization, and film. Instruction is provided in 12 languages: American Sign Language, Arabic, Chinese, Classics (Greek & Latin), French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. Instruction includes language and cultural courses with face-to-face, online, and blended format classes. Specialized courses provide practical training skills for study abroad ad globally-oriented careers as well as business, medical, and scientific applications.
Study abroad is an important part of a language education, and the faculty and staff work in close collaboration with the International Programs for Study Abroad to find students the best university programs in other countries. In addition, faculty lead an array of programs to multiple countries and of varying destinations.
Upon completion of the program, Language & Culture majors may choose graduate school or employment in an industry, which may or may not be related to their field. Student experiences have included:
- Foreign Language Teacher
- Title I ESL Instructional Assistant
- Dual Credit Coordinator
- ESL Teacher (domestic and abroad)
- Foreign Service
- Graduate or Professional School
All Purdue University College of Liberal Arts majors prepare students with the skills identified as contributing to professional success: communicating and listening well, an understanding and appreciation of diverse points of view, creative thinking and problem solving, a collaborative mindset, the ability to synthesize complex ideas and communicate them clearly, and a Boilermaker work ethic.
French majors develop skills that are applicable to many different careers. These skills may include, but are not limited to:
- Enhanced listening and language processing skills in your first language and your major.
- Ability to work in various cultural environments and cross-cultural knowledge/global awareness.
- Translating messages simultaneously into specified languages, maintaining message, content, context, and style as much as possible.
- Reading written materials, such as legal documents, scientific works, or news reports, and rewriting material into specified languages.
- Ability to work productively with diverse groups.
Languages and Cultures majors may choose to enter into the workforce using the skills they have acquired at Purdue or to attend graduate school upon completion of their degree. Past graduates have gone on to: