“Providing students with the communicative tools and cultural knowledge fundamental to living in a globalized world.”
Our mission statement informs our approach to teaching at all levels. Whether a first semester language course or an advanced film seminar, our courses provide students with the linguistic skills, intercultural competencies, and critical thinking skills they need to succeed beyond the classroom. In fact, extracurricular learning begins right here. We offer for-credit internships, volunteer opportunities and countless study abroad options.
Check out what French major and German minor Stefanie Smith is up to! Serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Kaffrine, Senegal, Stefanie has been busy putting the St. Edward's University ideals into action. The French and International Business double major helps train young entrepreneurs and is also the founder of the city's first waste management company.
Our department offers a major and minor in both French and Spanish. We also offer a minor in German and a Certificate in Advanced Spanish for the Health and Helping Professions. Additionally, you can study Japanese for four semesters. Our programs focus on language learning at all levels and our classes integrate the world-readiness standards (the 5 Cs) for language teaching and learning: Communication, Cultures, Connections, Comparisons, and Communities. Our majors, minors, and the Advanced Certificate in Spanish for the Health and Helping Professions will prepare you for a variety of careers in which bilingualism and multiculturalism are valued professional assets.
"Studying my heritage language, Spanish, has always been important to me because it is part of my culture and my identity. I am studying Spanish even though I already speak it because there is a difference between knowing the language as a native speaker and knowing it in a more academic setting. I loved that I have had the opportunity to take classes in Spanish literature, linguistics and grammar as well as a translation class because it has allowed me to learn more about the language itself and it is so exciting to actually see for myself all the components that make up the language." -Odalys Marquez
"Me siento apasionada por el español porque me da la oportunidad de comunicarme con la comunidad latina. Aunque crecí hablando español, el aprendizaje del idioma me ha dado varias experiencias donde aprendo lo bonito y complejo que es el idioma. Yo siento que aprender español da oportunidades infinitas. Te abre el camino a conocer la diversidad lingüística." --Kimberly Guzmán
The following are just a few examples of local, national and international organizations where our language majors and minors currently work:
3M, Austin Independent School District, Asure Software, Baylor College of Medicine, The Catholic Diocese of Austin, Charles Schwab, The Coca-Cola Company, Dell Children's Medical Center, Dell Technologies, The European Commission, The Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, IBM, Merrill Lynch, Pepsi, Company, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Seton Healthcare Network, Sysco, United States Department of the Treasury, United States Peace Corps, Wells Fargo, The World Bank Group...
"My Spanish minor has awarded me more opportunities in my career and also socially. I am able to seek jobs that pay higher wages since I know Spanish […]" --Hannah LeBrun, Spanish Minor
"I'm a technical editor in the oil & gas industry. […] I took an advanced syntax and semantics class in Spanish while I was studying abroad in Spain as well as a linguistics class. Learning how to break down sentence structure and language in another language made it easy for me to apply those same principles to the dense technical writing that I now work with every day." – Heather Baxter, Spanish Minor
"Learning German has influenced my life profoundly, in so many different ways not only professionally with the Fulbright Program but also personally […] I'm genuinely interested in global affairs and how people from other cultures see things differently and why." – Caitlin Maples, German Minor
"Being involved in the language program at SEU has opened so many doors I would have never thought to open otherwise. […] I am living my dream in Japan, something I might have never accomplished on my own." – Sarah Cates, Spanish major and student of Japanese and Chinese
"Honestly my minor has been more influencing than my major. Learning French was essential to my time spent [in graduate school] in France and now in Belgium." - Gwendolyn Bailey, French Minor
"My minor in French has helped me [working for the Honest Company in Los Angeles] when communicating with Canadian-French speakers." – Steven Rodriguez, French Minor
German minors Stephan Parra Robles and Jade Patterson traveled to Berlin for six weeks to hone their German language skills and study the city's rich and tumultuous history. The experience, Jade says, "has encouraged [her] to look into career paths that would lead [her] back there one day." Here, Jade and Stephan take a break from their studies and career planning to snap a selfie at Berlin's Olympic Stadium.
Biology major and student of Japanese Clarissa De Leon had the chance to enrich her knowledge of business practices and natural medicine while at SEU's partner campus, Asia Pacific University (APU), in the spring. Studying Japanese, she says, has "opened many unexpected windows, especially in biology." Clarissa found herself on the other sign of cultural exchange this summer, when she served as a "buddy" for APU students on the Hilltop (shown here celebrating and getting to know Austin).
French major Shelby Bennet spent the month of July studying French in Angers. "Being immersed in a language is absolutely the best way to learn," Shelby says. We agree! But her travels, which included a side trip to Paris, helped more than just her language skills. Her time in France, she says, has also expanded her self-sufficiency and global awareness.
Students planning to take a course in French, German, or Spanish are required to take the Modern Language Placement Test (MLP). Most students taking Japanese will enroll in 1311 and no test is required. The placement test is free and it is not a high-stakes test, just do your best. You do not receive credit for this test. It is simply a tool that helps the language faculty determine the right level for you and does not affect your academic standing in any way.
To receive credit for prior knowledge of a language you can take the CLEP test and earn up to 15 hours. It is offered in Spanish, French, and German only. Learn more about registering for a test during the academic year here. Add "CLEP" before the word "test" in this last sentence.
If you have questions, please contact Dr. Philippe Seminet at email@example.com.