The new degree program in Applied Languages and Intercultural Studies is a great step forward for the Tech academic community. Tech has long held goals of becoming an international institute with a globally recognized brand, and this degree will be the ultimate recognition of that goal.
This major, which will be the first time the modern language program will stand on its own as a degree option, has managed to create a curriculum that blends the traditionally known language major with a technical focus. Students at Tech will appreciate the technology-focused language development classes as well as the cluster options for expanded course loads. This major is flexible, answering many students calls for more personal expression in their course load.
The mandatory term abroad is also a brilliant fusion of Tech’s already strong work and study abroad programs with the fledging major. The administrators of the new degree, however, should be aware of the intense amount of training and aid that the students will need. Directly enrolling in a foreign university is a time-consuming and stressful process. Students will need help acquiring visas, navigating enrollment, transferring credits and financing their adventures abroad. While the Office of International Education can help with these issues, dozens of new students a year enrolling all over the world will also need help. The new major, as well as the institute as a whole, must step forward to make sure that this visionary program requirement is a success.
The current iteration of the degree is only offered with Spanish and Japanese, and all resources available should be applied to expanding the options to include the other languages offered in the Ivan Allen dual majors. Broader study options are one of the key benefits of this new program, and language choice should not limit this great idea.