The Department of International Studies offers courses in three foreign languages: Chinese, French and Spanish. The department also plans programs that engage international students and visitors.
The mission of the Department of International Studies is to provide students with the necessary course content to fulfill the core requirements for the Transformative Education Program and for a minor course of study in Spanish or French. The department focuses on teaching the language and cultures of the countries in which the particular foreign language is spoken as a means of exposing the students to other cultures and peoples of the world. The minor includes the required courses in language skills, literature, business and conversation needed to enhance a career in foreign affairs, international business, communications, law, English, education, political science, or other related professions. A major objective of the foreign language unit is to prepare students to acquire a survival level command of a language other than their own, broaden their outlook on life, and increase their interest and knowledge of other cultures and the relationship of countries to global affairs. Believing in the vital importance of broadening the educational and cultural horizons of our students by exposing them to the benefits of acquaintance with the world beyond the United States of America in these days of globalization and internationalization, the department also assists students applying for study abroad programs.
Foreign Language Requirement for the Transformative Education Program
- The Foreign Language unit offers Chinese, Spanish and French.
- A student who has studied a foreign language in high school and whose level of preparedness may indicate eligibility for enrollment in a higher level course will take an appropriate assessment test in a chosen foreign language and the results will be used to determine the student’s level of proficiency.
- Foreign language courses at the 100 and 200 levels are designed to give nonnative speakers a survival level command of the language.
- A student may be exempted from Chinese, French or Spanish 131 and 132 if he/she has an Advanced Placement test score of 3 or above or a CLEP score of 50 or better.
- Native speakers of Chinese, French or Spanish studying at Saint Augustine’s University may not fulfill the foreign language requirement by taking a lower level course in their native language. They have the following options: a) They may take a foreign language other than their native language; b) They may take a CLEP examination in their native language and be exempted from the Transformative Education second language requirement on successful completion of such an examination; or c) They may take two courses in their native language at the 300 or 400 level.
Foreign Language Minor Goals
Students completing the minor in a foreign language will:
- Demonstrate the skills of standard spoken and written aspects of the target language in everyday life and business settings;
- Demonstrate knowledge of the history, literature, current affairs and cultures of some of the countries that speak the language;
- Possess the skills necessary to gain employment that requires proficiencies in the language; and
- Advanced study students will have the opportunity to experience study abroad/internship programs.
The total number of credit hours to satisfy the requirements for a foreign language minor is 18 hours. Students who prove by placement testing to be proficient in the language at levels beyond the intermediate levels will then have to complete a minimum of 12 hours of the language minor to achieve the total requirement of 18 hours and may select from the following courses according to their own interest and the advice of a foreign language faculty member. The elementary language courses (131, 132) are for the removal of deficiencies only. Credit for these courses may not count towards the minor.
The Department of International Studies cooperates with the Study Abroad Coordinator to assist students from all majors who wish to study abroad. While participating in a semester Study Abroad Program, a student is advised to take a minimum course load of 12 hours in order to stay on track for timely graduation. It is recommended that this coursework reflect the courses yet to be completed according to the plan of study in the student’s major or minor. This coursework must be approved prior to participating in the program.
The Department organizes programs each semester that emphasize issues of cultural and global significance. These programs include monthly activities such as foreign films, cultural lectures, and field trips off campus to internationally focused events.