New International Studies department promotes global experience
A new department focusing on the greater internationalization of society is now part of the College of Liberal Arts at Texas A&M University.
The Department of International Studies combines the Arabic and Asian Languages Office, the International Studies baccalaureate degree, the Asian Studies interdisciplinary program, and the Department of European and Classical Languages and Cultures.
In September, Robert Shandley, also a professor of German and Film Studies, will become the new department head. According to Steve Oberhelman, who has been serving as the interim department head as the new department was developed, one of the main advantages of the reorganization is that language curriculum and the international studies program now will be gathered in one synergistically operating environment.
“The most exciting thing about this is how the different teaching and research units are going to come together to provide the best international experience for our International Studies (INTS) majors and our language majors and minors,” said Oberhelman.
Students within the department can specialize in Classics, Modern Languages, or International Studies. Within Classics, students can focus on Greek and Latin and take courses in areas such as Anthropology and History. The Modern Languages program will offer major options in German, Russian, and French with minors in French, German, Italian, Russian, Arabic Studies, Japanese, and Asian Studies.
All International Studies majors will be required to study a foreign language for three years and study abroad in a country that speaks that language. Students in the program will also be required to have a specific area of concentration.
“For example, if a student is taking Arabic for her language and is an International Studies major, she will choose to emphasize a geographical area where Arabic is the spoken language such as Morocco or Tunisia,” said Oberhelman. “In addition, that person would also study overseas for a semester and receive an in-depth experience not only in the language but in cultural immersion.”
The new department will benefit from having associated faculty at the helm. Core courses will be taught by designated Department of International Studies faculty. This reconfiguring will mean that students in the program will receive a diverse yet focused learning experience.
For more information about the Department of International Studies visit internationalstudies.tamu.edu.