Languages and Cultures

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"Americans who travel abroad for the first time are often shocked to discover that, despite all the progress that has been made in the last 30 years, many foreign people still speak in foreign languages."
~ Dave Barry (I know, I know, people don't get print sarcasm...)

What is Languages & Cultures?

The goal of studying a foreign language is not simply to become fluent in a language, but also to gain an understanding of the cultures that use the language in their everyday life by studying and critically examining the cultural history and literature. Graduates who are bi- or tri- lingual are essential in all facets of American life as we enter the 21st century. The academic and business worlds are demanding graduates who can communicate thoughtfully and with reliability. Here at William Paterson University students have the opportunity to earn a BA in French or Spanish. Additional coursework may be taken on for these students to earn their teacher certification, however graduates fluent in second languages are in demand in all career fields.

To view the Language and Culture department's web-site, click here:

To view Admission Information on language and Literature, click here:


Interests and Skills

  • Linguistic Ability
  • Problem-solving
  • Exemplary writing and communication skills
  • Appreciation for the culture and life-styles of others
  • Self-discipline
  • Alertness
  • Clarify ideas
  • Ability to edit and summarize ideas
  • Intellectual growth
  • Adaptability
  • Creativity
  • Patience


Work Environment

Students who major in a foreign language may work in a variety of different settings upon graduation They can work in consulting agencies, international companies and financial institutions. In addition, they may work in communities, schools, non profit organizations and hospitals. They can work for travel agencies, tour companies and government associations. They may also work in the courts, in libraries and at publishing companies.

Possible Job Titles

Art Dealer
Assistant Production Manager
Bilingual Officer/Teller
Bilingual Educator
Book Dealer
CIA Agent
Civil Service Employer
College Professor
Commercial Attaché
Consumer Liaison
Public Relations Liaison
Cultural Attaché
Cultural Officer
Customs/Immigration Officer
Defense Intelligence Agent
Drug Enforcement Agent
Embassy Personnel
Export/Import Representative
Foreign Correspondent
Foreign Diplomat
Foreign Credit Manager
Foreign Exchange Trader
Foreign Service Officer
Foreign Service Peacekeeper
Foreign Social Worker
Fund Raiser Coordinator
Homeland Security Officer
Human Resources Director
Immigration/Naturalization Officer
Insurance Sales Representative
Intelligence Researcher

Intelligence Specialist
International Conference Planner
International Consultant
International Education Director
International Flight Attendant
Library Technician
Media Specialist
Multilingual Receptionist
Museum Curator
National Security Officer
Overseas English Language Media
Overseas Plant Manager
Peace Corps Volunteer
Philanthropic Administrator
Police Officer
Production Supervisor
Publishing Specialist
Radio/TV Announcer
Real Estate Agent
Red Cross Employee
Scientific Linguist
Scientific Translator
Technical Writer
TESO/ESL Teacher
Travel Agent Tour Organizer
Travel Writer

Enhance Your Qualifications

Students in the Language and Cultures major at William Paterson University have numerous opportunities to enhance their academic experience. Students can contact the department about internships in a variety of organizations. Also, many students find that a study abroad in a country were they can practice Spanish or French with native speakers is enormously beneficial. Also, many students join the Spanish or French Club which enables them to meet others in their major with similar interests, career goals, and offers them the chance to practice the language of their chosen field. The department also offers membership to honors societies in both French and Spanish to students who meet certain GPA requirements.


Related Web Sites

Related Web Sites :

American Institute for Foreign Study

Association of Departments of Foreign Languages


Other Sources of Information

Please drop by the Career Development and Advisement Center to learn more about careers in languages and cultures. The career library carries career-specific books and counselors are available to answer any further questions you may have. Visiting the Department of Languages & Cultures on campus may also prove valuable in addressing questions.