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Foreign Languages for History Majors
The UW-L History department strongly encourages students to take courses in foreign languages. In an increasingly interconnected world, knowledge of languages other than English is and will continue to be an advantage. For those who ever wish to do research on the history or any other aspect of foreign societies at the graduate level and beyond, knowledge of corresponding languages is almost always requisite. Furthermore, those considering careers in government (especially diplomacy), business, the military, international law, the travel and tourism industry, or journalism - as well as individuals concerned with human rights, labor, and peace activism - will almost certainly find knowledge of one or more foreign languages useful if not necessary.
At UW-L, the Modern Languages Department teaches foreign languages. Chinese, French, German, Hmong, Russian, and Spanish are all taught onsite by UW-L faculty, sometimes with the assistance of Amity and Fulbright Scholars (young people residing in La Crosse who are native speakers of various foreign languages). Interested students may also be able to learn Hebrew at UW-L. A history major might consider a minor in or double major with French, German, or Spanish, in which case one would take courses other than language courses involving one's chosen region (see the Modern Languages Department website for details). Lastly, the Modern Languages Department also offers certificates of proficiency in French and Russian.
Arabic and Japanese are languages offered to UW-L students through distance learning. Other UW campuses' faculty members teach courses in these languages to UW-L students under the umbrella of the UW System Collaborative Language Program (CLP). UW-L students interact with their Japanese and Arabic teachers through video conferencing technology. In addition, UW-L student "facilitators" who are native speakers of these languages help learners in La Crosse by interacting with them in Japanese or Arabic.
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