1. Why might you major in a Foreign Language?
2. What careers interest students in a Foreign Language major?
3. What skills are developed within these majors?
4. What Foreign Language resources are available?
5. Where have Wake Forest graduates landed jobs with Foreign Language majors?
6. Where can I get more information about Foreign Language majors at Wake Forest?
Parlez-vous francais? Hablas español? Parlate italiano? If your attention is focused beyond our borders, you’re not alone. Majoring in a foreign language provides you with many of the skills in which employers are interested, although securing a job that uses your foreign language skills can be challenging. With the exception of positions in translating, interpreting or teaching, in most cases at the entry level your language fluency is seen as a secondary skill, an asset.
One option many foreign language students pursue is taking a semester to study abroad in a foreign speaking country. This will give you not only a better handle of the language, but if you are intentional with your time abroad a number of future job connections. Other possibilities to get your feet wet are available with international volunteer organizations that require translators in the field. On the local level, Wake Forest has connections with volunteer clinics and community centers in need of interpreters.
Many developed countries require a TEFL certificate to attain a work visa as the demands on foreign speaking students are becoming increasingly more sophisticated.
Careers that often interest Foreign Language majors include:
Foreign Service Officer
Skills developed within these majors include: Translating ideas/languages; Strong written and oral communication skills; Perception of word patterns and structures; Analyzing content; Gathering information; Summarizing; Comparing ideas/translations; Memorizing; Project development and follow through; Attention to detail; Understanding other cultures; Sensitivity to diversity; and ability to clarify
others’ thoughts and ideas.
American Translators Association
Carolina Association of Translators and Interpreters
The National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators
Info on jobs in Spanish speaking world. Entire site in Spanish.
E Network for Latin American Careers and Employment
Resources for International Job Opportunities (Riley Guide)
Bilingual Professionals & Career Seekers
ESL Job Center
For more information about Foreign Language majors, visit the following:
Department of East Asian Languages & Culture
Department of Romance Languages
Department of German & Russian
Department of Classical Languages