What do our alums say about the value of their education in the Department of International Languages and Cultures?
“I think the most valuable skill that majoring in ILC-German, or any other ILC major, is being aware of other cultures. That doesn’t necessarily mean that I fully understand all cultures, but being aware that there are so many other cultures in the world and knowing how to be respectful of them has done so much good for me and opens doors with people that may naturally be closed off for cultural reasons. Also, I think showing an ability to learn a language is valuable to most hiring companies, regardless of which language you know. It shows a mental aptitude for advanced learning that most companies would find attractive, and it’s indicative of a hard worker who always wants to learn more.”
– J. Thomas Dickey
“I’m very happy I pursued a double major in ILC and Psych at SMCM. I would definitely encourage ILC majors to study abroad. Culture is just as important as linguistics (especially as an interpreter). Studying abroad helps you grow personally and branch out during an important time of life. I plan to travel more after finish my master’s, and hope to one day have a career abroad or one that allows me to travel. Being an ILC major has allowed me to open my personal and professional life up to a completely different and larger population. I don’t have any regrets!”
“Studying abroad at Fudan University was by far the best choice I made during my 4 years at St. Mary’s. I met friends that I still stay in touch with today and have met up with recently in international cities like New York and London. While I was abroad I developed communication and “survival” skills that I didn’t realize would benefit me much later in life whether I am meeting new clients, working with people from all around the world, getting up in front of hundreds of people at a meeting or conference, or having to navigate a problem with no certain outcome. Learning what I am capable of while abroad in a country where the culture and language is new translated to having more confidence and capabilities to navigate the “real world” once I left the safety and beauty of St. Mary’s.”
– Doria MacKenzie