SMCM students have multiple opportunities to use their language skills outside the classroom, both on campus and off campus.
We strongly advise majors and minors to spend time abroad to gain both linguistic and cultural fluency and confidence. The experience abroad can be pursued by various means: study abroad with our partner programs or with those of other colleges and universities, internships with international organizations or governmental agencies abroad, or “au pair” or other work-related experiences. Some of these experiences can be pursued for credit, others not. When you study abroad for a semester with one of our partner programs, the program costs are the same as a residential semester at St. Mary’s, and you can apply all your financial aid. It is important that students begin to think about experiences abroad as early as possible during their career at St. Mary’s, and that they discuss their interests with a faculty advisor within the department.
Every year we host Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistants, who live in the International Suite, teach conversation classes, and hold cultural activities. You can get to know our TAs, learn about their home cultures, and practice language skills in a relaxed environment by attending activities in the International Suite or elsewhere on campus. We also host a scholar from Fudan University, who assists with classes and cultural activities in Chinese.
The St. Mary’s Project (SMP) in the senior year has you work closely with a faculty mentor on a project of personal and professional interest to you. It’s interdisciplinary and guided by preparation for postgraduate work or study. In International Languages and Cultures the SMP can take a variety of formats, depending on your topic and goals. For example, students have produced research essays, videos, podcasts, creative writing, community-based projects, or oral histories.