Foreign Languages & International Studies
Foreign Languages: The School of Languages, Literatures & Cultures offers BA degrees, as well as MA and PhD degrees, in several languages. The study of language and literature enhances your ability to understand and communicate with people of other nations and cultures, in addition to developing proficiency in reading, writing, and oral expression.
Global & International Studies: The College of Liberal Arts & Sciences offers a BA in Global & International Studies, as well as a MA. In addition to a set of core International Studies courses, students with this major will also complete coursework in a regional expertise (Africa and the Middle East, Asia and the South Pacific, Europe, South and Central America and the Caribbean, or Russia and Eastern Europe) and coursework in a specialization (Comparative Political and Social Systems, Conflict and Cooperation, Culture, Ethnicity, and Belief Systems, or Political Economy).
Sample of Related Skills
- Apply reading, writing, critical thinking, and analytical skills to address significant issues in the natural and human world based on articulating one’s identity in a global context
- Evaluate and apply diverse perspectives to complex subjects within natural and human systems in the face of multiple and even conflicting positions
- Describe the impact of international events and systems at the regional, national, and local levels in at least one major area of the world
- Demonstrate the skills and confidence necessary to make critical, informed evaluations and judgments about global issues, processes, trends, and policies
- Apply an interdisciplinary methodology to provide new insight into a global issue, process, trend, or policy
- Present a clear and concise account of a global issue, process, trend, or policy
- Demonstrate basic proficiency in a language in addition to English
Popular Career Paths
Business, Commerce, Trade: Uses foreign language skills and cultural knowledge to work with international partners in all aspects of global business, management, banking, and trade.
Communications & Media: Utilizes foreign language skills and cultural knowledge to work for domestic or international employers in the areas of journalism, broadcasting media, communications, public relations, and advertising.
Foreign Relations: Works with US government agencies and international non-profit organizations to inform and enhance relations between countries through foreign diplomacy, intelligence, policy, and law.
International Development & Human Services: Works with US government agencies and non-profit organizations to develop and advocate for economic, political, and social quality-of-life issues on behalf of those living abroad and those immigrating to the US.
Research: Involves conducting research to inform educational programs, policy development, and other educational or political interests.
Teaching/Education Administration: Utilizes foreign language skills and cultural knowledge to build educational systems in developing countries, oversee educational exchange programs for students and educators, and teach language skills domestically or abroad.
Jobs to Consider
Places to Seek Employment
Domestic/Foreign Banking and Financial Institutions
International Trade Firms
Multilateral Organizations (e.g. United Nations)
Newspaper, Magazine, and Book Publishers
US Federal Government and Military
US State and Local Governments
Research Institutes and Foundations
Travel and Hospitality Providers
TV Networks and Film Studios
View specific employers by state.
- Gain direct experience within the areas that interest you most through research projects, independent study, internships, part-time jobs, student organization involvement, or volunteering.
- Register for HireJayhawks.com and subscribe to the Internship Newsletter to receive automated weekly emails with specific internship information.
- Immerse yourself in foreign cultures though study abroad programs, international internships, volunteer programs, and/or personal travel.
- Seek out opportunities to interact with others of diverse nationalities and cultures to develop your language skills and intercultural competencies.
- If majoring in International Studies, identify global issues and foreign languages that interest you and specialize in these areas.
- Consider getting involved with a student organization at KU related to your areas of interest, such as: Global & International Studies Student Organization, AIESEC, Amnesty International, International Friends, KU Model United Nations, and Students for Global Awareness.
- Take LA&S 480: Preparing for International Careers as an elective.
- Complete KU's Global Awareness Program.
- Consider joining a professional organization related to your area of interest and, if possible, attend local and/or regional conferences to make connections with professionals working in your field.
- Practice interviewing on your own or by conducting a mock interview at the University Career Center. List of practice questions: ESL/TESOL (pdf), general interview (pdf).
- Develop your resume and tailor it to your area(s) of interest: sample resume (pdf).
- Maintain a strong GPA if you are considering pursuing graduate or professional school.
Job and Internship Search Resources
- AIESEC - offers internships in over 110 countries and territories around the world; Connect with KU's AIESEC group
- Amnesty International - human rights advocacy organization that offers jobs and internships; Connect with KU's AI chapter
- Brookings - think tank and publisher that offers jobs, internships, and fellowships in foreign policy, economic studies, and global economy/development
- Cultural Vistas - non-profit organization that offers international internships, fellowships, and other global programs
- Central Intelligence Agency Careers - explore career paths and current job and internship openings within the CIA
- Council on Foreign Relations - think tank and publisher that offers jobs, internships, and fellowships in foreign relations
- Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) - offers teaching programs in nearly 10 countries around the world
- Dave's ESL Cafe - comprehensive website about teaching ESL; includes job postings, discussion forums, and certification program information
- Department of Homeland Security Careers - explore career paths and current job and internship openings within the DHS
- Department of State Careers - explore career paths and current jobs and internship openings within the DOS
- EPIK: English Program in Korea - teach English abroad in Korea; must have completed a bachelor's degree
- Federal Bureau of Investigation Careers - explore career paths and current job and internship openings with the FBI
- Foreign Policy Research Institute - non-profit devoted to research and public education on international affairs; includes jobs, internships, and a think tank directory
- Government & Non-Profit Resources - more from career.ku.edu
- Human Rights Watch - non-profit organization that offers jobs, internships, and fellowships in human rights advocacy
- International Job Links - more from career.ku.edu
- Internships USA - internships in international affairs, law & policy, and human rights
- JET: Japan Exchange & Teaching Programme - cultural exchange program with positions in teaching, international relations, and sports
- KU Office of Study Abroad - internships in London, Dublin, and Madrid
- GoGovernment.org - job profiles of education jobs in the federal government including available positions and number of positions by region and governmental agency
- LanguageCorps - programs for teaching English abroad in 19 countries around the world
- LatPro - free job board for Latino/a and other Spanish-speaking bilingual professionals
- NABE: National Association for Bilingual Education - professional association for bilingual education administrators and teachers; includes a free job board
- NAFSA: Association of International Educators - career information and job listings for international educators
- PeaceCorps - federal service program that currently sends US volunteers to serve abroad in over 75 countries; Connect with KU's PeaceCorps representative
- Peru Volunteer and Travel - program that offers opportunities to volunteer in several different fields while immersing oneself in the native culture of Peru
- RAND Corporation - think tank that offers jobs, internships, and fellowships in international affairs and national security
- TwoLingos.com - free job board for bilingual professionals
- United Nations - explore UN career paths and current job and internship openings; Connect with KU's Model UN group
- US Citizenship & Immigration Services - explore career paths and current job and internship openings with the USCIS
- Working Abroad Resources - more from career.ku.edu
- Youth at the United Nations - list of internships through the United Nations system and other international organizations.