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LWB Program Provides Global Opportunities for Students

Spencer Hinton

Spencer Hinton will spend one week this summer immersed in the political dynamics of the United Nations during the UN Intensive Summer Study Program, hosted by Seton Hall University, thanks to his experiences at UT.

“Aside from a diplomacy trip to Japan, I have a modest diplomacy acumen,” Hinton says. “Strengthening this part of my resume will suit me well for applying to diplomacy school.”

Hinton, who graduated from UT with a degree in Language and World Business (LWB), credits most of his success to one person – Lisa Parker, assistant director of LWB and lecturer in the Department of Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures.

“Most of the experiences that aided in my success come from Professor Parker’s MFLL 199 course,” Hinton says. “She sets her students up with a network and a host of opportunities and contacts with guest speakers from various sectors of international and local businesses.”

Hinton’s interest in the UN Summer Intensive Program developed after Professor Parker invited a recruitment officer from the Department of State to class to explain his role in the Foreign Service.

“I was immediately intrigued to see how vastly widespread Foreign Service occupations range and excited for the potential to use Japanese and Spanish in a professional setting,” Hinton says.

Created in the late 1980s, the LWB program at UT provides students interested in studying language, culture, and business with a curriculum designed to prepare them for careers in today’s global market and economy. It is the most popular major in the Department of Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures.

“This program bolsters the applied-language dimension of our unit,” says Adrian Del Caro, professor and head of the department. “It provides students with real-world experience in the job market, which often leads to full time employment with the company after graduating from UT.”

Martina Elliott (right) on the job at Volkswagen.

Martina Elliott is one such alumnae. A German-language student, Elliott interned at Volkswagen in Chattanooga, Tennessee, during the summer of 2016. When she graduated with her degree in LWB, she began working full time with the company.

“Being admitted into the LWB program was a blessing to say the least,” Elliott says. “Without the professors and the structure of the program, I would have never landed my job at Volkswagen.”

According to Elliott, the biggest takeaway of the program is the connections. Like Hinton, Elliott found Parker’s MFLL 199 course invaluable to her education.

“Professor Parker works very hard to make sure that every student makes personalized connections with outside businesses,” Elliott says. “Networking is one of the most important skills you can learn in college. I landed my dream job with the help of the professors and do not have a single regret.”

Parker finds there are many rewarding aspects of being an advisor and instructor in the LWB program.

“I enjoy getting to know students as individuals and not just as numbers,” Parker says. “At the end of the day, students recognize I am wholly interested in their academic and personal growth, and they can count on me even after they are no longer active students in the major. It is extremely rewarding to see LWB graduates find options to match their potential, passion, and skills with a career or pathway in the real world and become functional and responsible citizens.”

The internship program and LWB in general leverages all nine languages taught in MFLL and provides students interested in learning a language career options outside of teaching.

“Students and their parents sometimes think that a degree in language locks them into a career in teaching, but today, multilingual graduates have opportunities and skills that set them apart for a broad spectrum of employers,” Del Caro says. “The LWB model allows us to train advanced students in every language we offer at UT, enhancing their career opportunities – especially in the area of international business.”

Hinton is excited about his career options and encourages any student interested in the LWB program to go for it.

“The discipline is growing and gaining more depth and versatility at a burgeoning rate,” Hinton says. “Professor Parker and the LWB staff believe the sky is the limit and she will do everything in her power to make sure you’re getting the most out of the program.”

Intermediate and Advanced Spanish in San Jose, Costa Rica

San Jose, Costa Rica is the capital of the state of Costa Rica, located in Costa Rica. San Joseis one of the oldest cities in Costa Rica, founded in the 16th century and has a population of about 2 million, and is rich in history, folklore, and monuments, both pre-Columbian and colonial. Students live for five weeks with judiciously selected Costa Rican families in San Jose and take two courses out of a list of five language and literature courses.

The classes are taught by UT faculty and teaching personnel and by local university personnel. Student will earn six (6) hours credit for Spanish 423, 461 or 491. For information about this program, contact:

Dr. Luis Cano
Program Director for 2017
Department of Modern Foreign Languages & Literatures

Phone: 865-974-7004
Office: 606A McClung Tower

Service Learning in Costa Rica

Students will engage in Costa Rican culture and society via service-learning. Placements will depend on students' level of language proficiency, personal interest, and availability and will be assigned prior to departure. In addition to averaging 30 hours per week of volunteer service in the San Jose or Cartago area, students will spend two class hours per week at the ISA office in San Jose. The remaining academic component of the course will occur asynchronously online. 

Upon successful completion of the program, students will receive 3 credits in MFLL 300 Global Cultures and Texts, Spanish 491 (via petition) or Latin American/Caribbean Studies 491 (via petition). 

Click here for detailed information and samples of service-learning placements by level of language proficiency.

Watch the video of two of the students that completed the Service Learning Course in Costa Rica last summer 2016.

For information about this program, contact:

Dr. Lisa Y.F. Parker
Assistant Director of Language and World Business

Department of Modern Foreign Languages & Literatures
Phone: 865-974-9827
Office: 1204 McClung Tower

Learn French in Paris

The UT in France summer study program offers four (4) weeks of coursework, extracurricular experiences, and activities; students earn six (6) hours of college credit while being introduced to French language and culture. Courses are conducted in French.

For further information, click here or contact:

Dr. John Romeiser
French Program director

Learn German in Berlin

For more information, please click here or contact:

Maria Stehle
German Program Director
Phone: (865) 974-7001

Learn Italian in Urbino

Urbino is a major university town located about twenty (20) miles from the Adriatic Coast, just south of Rimini. This beautiful Renaissance town is built on two hills overlooking the countryside and dates back to the 12th century.

This five-week program is supported by several American and Italian Universities and offers graduate and undergraduate courses in Italian Renaissance, Italian culture, civilization, art, history and language.

Students live in dorms on the University of Urbino campus where you will attend 3 hours of class a day and on the weekends participate in excursions to Italian cities, such as Venice, Florence, Rome, Pompeii or Sorrento.

For more information about this program, click here or contact:

Dr. Sal DiMaria
Italian Program director
Phone: (865) 974-6997

Learn Spanish in Santander

Santander is the capital of the Cantabria region located in Northern Spain. The population of the city is around 200,000 inhabitants, but during the summer months, Spaniards look to Santander as a vacation spot and the population climbs. Santander is known for its extraordinarily beautiful landscape and its coastal location on the shores of the Bay of Biscay. The city combines an urban environment with what is essential in Cantabria: countryside, nature, gastronomy, and culture; but it's the beaches in Santander that are the best known and most appreciated city attraction. While in Santander students will visit the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd, the Marine Museum of Cantabria, the Magdalena Palace and Park, and enjoy a scenic boat ride on the Bay of Biscay.

While in Santander, students will be housed in double rooms with Spanish families. All meals on non-excursion days are provided as well as laundry service once per week while living with host families. Trips to Madrid, Toledo, Bilbao, San Sebastián, and the Picos de Europa are included.

The program is open to undergraduate students who have successfully completed either Span 112 or Spanish 123 or Spanish 150, or to students who have placed into a 200-level class via the Spanish Placement Exam.

Upon successful completion of the program, students will receive credit for Spanish 223 (6 credit hours). Classes will be held Monday through Friday (4 hours/day).

For further information contact:

Dr. Álvaro Ayo
Program Director for 2017
Department of Modern Foreign Languages & Literatures

Phone: 865-974-5584
Office: 712 McClung Tower

Learn Spanish in Alicante :: Spanish 300-level and higher

Famous for its miles of white, sandy beaches (the nearby Playa de San Juan) and its palm-lined seafront walkway (the Esplanada), Alicante is a vibrant university town small enough (population 310,000) to be congenial, safe, and accessible yet big and modern enough to offer everything, including unexpected dimensions from the narrow streets of the old quarter (the Barrio de Santa Cruz) to the main commercial avenues downtown.

Alicante is within easy reach of Madrid, Granada, Seville, Málaga, Valencia, and Barcelona, and June is the month of Alicante's ancient "Festival de las Hogueras," in which huge paper sculptures are ceremoniously paraded and then burned in city squares.

Students will live with Spanish host families (one exchange student per family), meet locals and make international friends through organized social and cultural activities, and improve language skills by participating in cultural workshops.

Excursions include a visit to the Costa Blanca, to sites in the interior of the province of Alicante, to Granada, etc.

For more information and application procedures, click here. You may also contact:

Dr. Harrison Meadows
Program Director for 2017
Department of Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures

Phone: 865-974-0585
Office: 716A McClung Tower

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