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FAQs

For: Prospective Students

Why study a foreign language?
Studying a foreign language is a life-changing opportunity. It opens your eyes to different realities, allowing you to interact with many people from other parts of the world, learning about other languages and cultures, and becoming a global citizen. Furthermore, knowing a foreign language makes you more competitive on the job market, enhances your analytical and communication skills, and boosts your creativity. The department of Foreign Language Studies at Providence College offers an exciting and rigorous academic program that is at the heart of a liberal arts education. You can combine learning a foreign language with any other discipline of your interest.

What can I do with a major in a foreign language?
Your opportunities are endless. Evidence shows that our majors are more competitive candidates in every field of endeavor. Speaking a foreign language is not only a powerful tool that you can put into practice, but demonstrates that you are a more integral and cosmopolitan individual, characteristics sought by most employers. Moreover, many graduate school programs require proficiency in a foreign language.

Which professions typically use foreign languages?
In today’s global society, nearly every profession incorporates knowledge of a foreign language/culture, including business, economics, education, journalism, law, medicine, nursing, politics and diplomacy, public health, social work, among many others.

Can I enroll in a foreign language course my first semester at PC?
The earlier, the better. It is an excellent transition from high school to College to continue studying a foreign language. It will keep the doors open for an integral liberal arts education, so it is recommended that you enroll in a foreign language course during your first semester at PC. You can enroll in a foreign language course at any level in which you are already proficient, based on the online placement test recommendation, or begin a new language. Professors in the department will be available and happy to discuss all your options with you.

Will my AP credit in a foreign language count for courses at PC?
Yes, if you receive 4 or 5 on your AP test in high school, you will receive three credits for 104 in that language.

Can I fulfill College Core requirements with language courses? How?
The Fine Arts Core Requirement is fulfilled by FRN 212 French Civilization, ITA 212 Italian Civilization, SPN 212 Hispanic Civilization and ITA 405 Italian Cinema.

What is the Core Focus? How do I fulfill it?
The Core Focus is composed of two courses taken in a sequential order. You could take advantage of this requirement and take two foreign language courses in sequential order to fulfill it, for instance, FRN/ITA/SPN 101 and then FRN/ITA/SPN 102. Note that, if you have a double major or are fulfilling a minor in a foreign language, you are exempt from the Core Focus.

For: Current PC Students

How do I declare a major or minor in a foreign language?
Simply complete the form available in the department office and obtain the signature of the department chair.

Which departmental courses fulfill core and proficiency requirements?
Below is a list of courses that fulfill core and proficiency requirements:

Diversity: FRN 370 (Francophone songs; Introduction to Francophone Cinema; French Guiana & New Caledonia); SPN 322

Fine Arts: FRN, ITA & SPN 212; ITA 405 (Italian Cinema)

Intensive Writing II: FRN 321 & 322; ITA 321 & 322; SPN 321 & 322

Oral Communication: FRN & SPN 212

I am a student in the School of Business, can I have a second major in a foreign language?
We encourage all of our students to double major in a foreign language. In the case of Business majors, being proficient in a foreign language proves to be a great asset as it opens more job opportunities, notably in international companies and firms. It gives you an edge in comparison with monolingual graduates who can only operate on the domestic market. Because this combination is very beneficial to students, we work closely with Business students’ advisors to ensure that you satisfy all the major requirements in a timely manner and study abroad if you wish. Keep in mind that the sooner you declare your second major the better it is as it gives us time to organize and prepare a long-term plan. It is therefore advisable to contact a FLS faculty member right away so both departmental advisors can work together to help you realize your goals.

I learned a foreign language at home, are there any courses for students like me?
Yes, as a “heritage speaker” you are exempt from FRN/ITA/SPN 210 course and are encouraged to enroll in FRN/ITA/SPN 201.

For: Foreign Language Studies Majors and Minors 

What is the average number of students/section?
If you are taking a beginner or intermediate language class, depending upon the language, the number of students per course ranges from 7 to 18. If you are in a 400-level course, the average is 10 students.

What if I did not take the language placement test as a freshman?
Students can take the placement test at any time. To have access to the test, please contact Ms. Wendy Coutu, our administrative assistant, at wcoutu@providence.edu or at 401.865.2111.

What level do I need to start for a minor?
If you studied French, Italian or Spanish in high school you are required to take a placement test to determine at which level you should start. However, if you took AP French, Italian or Spanish in high school you may start by taking FRN, ITA, or SPN 201 or 210.

Is it possible to have a double minor?
Yes, many students do so.

When is the latest time to declare a major?
Technically, students are required to declare their major before they begin their junior year. We encourage you to declare your foreign language major as soon as possible so you can benefit from the expert advice of your foreign language advisor.

Can I take classes outside of my major?
In fact, you are encouraged to do so. Majoring in a foreign language leaves enough room in your schedule to take other courses and to even fulfill a double major in another discipline.

If I study abroad will my courses count towards my minor/major?
Yes, as long as these courses are approved by your professors and the chair of the department. For more details about study abroad policies and requirements, please follow this link.

Can an Internship fulfill a major requirement?
Internships do count as “major elective” provided that they fulfill the internship’s description. For more information, contact your foreign language advisor.