Foreign Languages and International Studies (FLIS) Degree

Prepare for graduate studies in a global market and for jobs in a variety of international settings with a degree in Foreign Languages and International Studies.

Through interdisciplinary studies, Foreign Language and International Studies (FLIS) majors gain an in-depth understanding of global culture, language, geography, history and politics. Students select one foreign language in which to master reading, writing and verbal communication skills, while developing global competency through study abroad experiences, internship opportunities, and a diverse selection of courses such as international relations, human geography, world religions and intercultural communications.

Why earn your Foreign Language and International Studies degree at Bellarmine?

Bellarmine’s Department of Global Languages and Cultures is committed to helping students gain understanding, acquire knowledge, and develop skills for living and communicating in the globally interdependent and culturally diverse world of the 21st century.

A degree in Foreign Languages and International Studies (FLIS) is an interdisciplinary major, focusing students’ attention on the global scene. The degree combines studies in two different cultures and languages with studies in anthropology, communication, geography, history, political science, religion, and social issue. This gives students an overall picture of the global village and allows majors to enhance their career plans.

Spanish Major
Bellarmine’s Spanish program develops Spanish-language proficiency and introduces students to the historical evolution of Hispanic culture in Europe and the Americas. Students master advanced linguistic skills, and seminar courses explore literary and cultural works with emphasis on structural and conceptual analysis. The university offers a wide array of study abroad options through which students may enhance their language and cultural skills. The Spanish degree program addresses the growing demand for bilingual professionals in every field of business and prepares students for success in graduate school or in careers within the global job market, including health and government professions, entrepreneurship, politics, and education.

Program Highlights

Bellarmine students pursuing the Foreign Languages and International Studies (FLIS) major demonstrate interest in the anthropological, cultural, political, social, aspects of a global language. The degree can broaden and enhance the curriculum of any major; however, the FLIS major is specifically designed to prepare students to pursue graduate studies in a global market and for jobs in a variety of international settings.

The FLIS major consists of 18 hours of languages, 18 from courses in international studies, an international immersion experience, and a 3-hour final capstone course reflecting the FLIS major experience.

FLIS majors must participate in at least one international study. This can be a semester, a year, or a summer experience in a Bellarmine-approved program. Personalized attention is given to FLIS students during their selection of a study abroad site, where the student has the opportunity to select the university, country, culture, and language, and there are opportunities for scholarships. While abroad, a student should focus on language study, but is encouraged to use this opportunity for study of electives or interdisciplinary requirements.

Most important, students are expected to share their international experiences with the Bellarmine community upon return to campus, allowing students to build intercultural skills and connections.

Learning Goals

Students in the Foreign Languages and International Studies (FLIS) major will:

  1. Demonstrate professional written and verbal language competencies in a world language.
  2. Demonstrate a capacity to deploy multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches to understand issues of international, comparative, and/or global significance through a major capstone project and an international experience.
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of cultural, ethical, and disciplinary aspects of recent international issues in public policy, social science, or humanities.

Frequently Asked Questions

What courses are required to complete the program?
Foreign Language and International Studies (FLIS) Major:

The FLIS major consists of 18 hours of a language, 18 hours from courses in international studies, and an international immersion experience as outlined below:

  • 18 hours in the same language at and above the 200-level in French, German, or Spanish;
  • 18 hours of international studies as follows:
    • 9 hours of: ANTH 111, COMM 313, and GEOG 175;
    • 6 hours chosen from: PS 308, PS 323, PS 325;
    • 3 hours chosen from: HIST 320, HIST 327, THEO 307;
  • FLIS 490 (3 hours);
  • FLIS Major Study Abroad Requirement: At least one international study experience in a Bellarmine approved program abroad, representing the language being studied as the native tongue. This can be a semester, a year, or an 8-week summer experience.
  • FLIS 201 is required for all Bellarmine students studying abroad for a semester or a year. It must be taken the semester before departure for study abroad.

Spanish Major:

  • 200-level (12 credits): SPAN 201 Exploration of Topics in Spanish I; SPAN 202 Exploration of Topics in Spanish II; SPAN 211 Spanish Conversation and Composition; SPAN 212 Spanish Conversation and Composition.
  • 300-level (12 credits): SPAN 312 Advanced Spanish Composition (an equivalent level course may be substituted); SPAN 315 Introduction to 20th century Hispanic Literature; SPAN 320 Hispanic Culture and Civilization; SPAN 350 Practical Translation.
  • 400-level (12 credits): SPAN 490, plus nine additional SPAN credits at the 400-level (to be chosen in consultation with advisor to form a major focus area).
  • Required Spanish Major Immersion Experience: Students majoring in Spanish with sufficient skills must do one of the following options approved by the GLC department chair in consultation with the Spanish Language advisor:
    • Internship for at least eight weeks in a Spanish-speaking environment.
    • Service learning for at least eight weeks in a Spanish-speaking environment.
    • Participate in a Bellarmine University Study Abroad program for at least one summer term.

What employment opportunities are available with a FLIS degree?
The FLIS major builds a solid foundation for careers in international relations, industry, government, and human resources, and for graduate degrees in international law, foreign relations, diplomacy, government and global language teaching. Bellarmine FLIS students have found job and internship placements with CNN, Kentucky World Trade Center, the French Embassy, FBI, ATF, various international organizations in Washington, D.C., World Bank, and many others. Many graduates have chosen to begin their careers by teaching or volunteering overseas with the embassies of Spain, France, and Germany.

Must I study abroad to earn this degree?
Yes. Each degree candidate must have at least one international study experience in a Bellarmine-approved program abroad, representing the language being studied as the native tongue. This can be a semester, a year, or a summer experience. While abroad, a student should focus on language study, but is also encouraged to use this opportunity for study of electives or interdisciplinary requirements.

Do you provide job or internship placement?
Yes. Bellarmine guarantees every student the opportunity to have an internship, develop a career plan and build a professional network. Bellarmine FLIS students have found internship and job placements with the TFA, EON, Humana, PNC Bank, CNN, Kentucky World Trade Center, French Embassy, FBI, ATF, various international organizations in Washington, D.C., World Bank, and many others.

Is financial aid available?
Yes. Please go to Bellarmine’s financial aid website for detailed information on financial aid packages. Additionally, students can work with our Faculty Development Center to apply for grants and awards outside of the Bellarmine offerings.

How many hours can I expect to spend studying outside of class time?
It is expected that students will complete a minimum of 9 hours of out-of-classroom activity per week in addition to their 3 hours in class in a normal 15-week semester.

Career Prospects

The program provides preparation for internships and exchange programs here and abroad while building a foundation for careers in international relations, industry, government, and human resources, and for graduate degrees in international law, foreign relations, diplomacy, and foreign language teaching.

FLIS majors have received major scholarships (including the Fulbright) and acquired coveted graduate placements at such renowned schools and programs as Trinity College Dublin, the Monterrey Language Institute, the University of Marburg, the Patterson School of Foreign Service, law schools around the country, and the Peace Corps. Bellarmine FLIS students have also found job and internship placements with the Humana, PNC Bank, CNN, Kentucky World Trade Center, French Embassy, FBI, ATF, various international organizations in Washington, D.C., World Bank, and many others. Many graduates have chosen to begin their careers by teaching or volunteering overseas with the embassies of Spain, France, and Germany.

On-Campus Experiences

The Chinese Club promotes everything Chinese and the Mandarin language but also does service learning within the local community. It is open to all students who are willing to learn about Chinese language, its culture, and its people.

FLIS students can become members of the nationally recognized Foreign Language Association, Alpha Mu Gamma. It is a language association devoted to recognizing the talents and academics of first- and second-year students who study foreign language. Bellarmine University is charter Epsilon Iota. The requirements are very rigorous but rewarding. The association is open to all students who are pursuing languages and fulfill the criteria.

Students pursuing a Spanish major or a minor can become members of Sigma Delta Pi, the only honor society devoted exclusively to students of Spanish in four-year colleges and universities and the largest foreign-language honor society in existence.

The Bellarmine International Club (BIC) promotes student, faculty, and community interest in customs, food, music, language, general knowledge, and understanding of different cultures, and raises awareness while assisting in the support and guidance of new and returning international students. BIC is for FLIS majors, international and exchange students, and other students interested in world cultures. Some activities of the group include international potluck lunches, presentations by international students about their home countries, and field trips to various tourist spots in the region.

Spanish majors and minors are encouraged to join the Spanish Club, which promotes Hispanic/Latino diversity, education, and awareness of diversity in our community and beyond. This organization will establish a network for students interested in multicultural diversity in Spanish. The club is open to all students regardless of their knowledge of Spanish.

Faculty Profile

Nelson López

Dr. Nelson López
Dr. López, associate professor and chair of the Department of Global Languages and Cultures, earned his BA in Humanities-Drama from the University of Puerto Rico and holds two terminal degrees: an M.F.A. degree in Theatre-Directing from Virginia Commonwealth University and a Ph.D. in Spanish Golden Age Literature from the University of Florida. He is also the Bellarmine campus representative for the Imagining America Consortium, a consortium of colleges and universities that supports public scholarship and practice. Its mission is to strengthen the public role and democratic purposes of the humanities, arts, and design.

Dr. López’s research interests center on Spanish Golden Age and 19th Century Literature, as well as Hispanic and Latino Theatre, where he focuses on Performance Studies in Theatre and Film. He has given lectures and published several articles in his field, as well as a book entitled El valiente negro en Flandes: edición para actores y directores (Reichenberger Press, 2007).

He also enjoys Puerto Rican popular culture and reading detective and adventure fiction and thrillers. He has not abandoned theatre, serving an acting coach and/or directing plays for Bellarmine University’s Theatre Program.

Dr. López has traveled to Colombia, Cuba, France, Italy and Puerto Rico, and makes yearly “pilgrimages” to Spain, which holds a particular interest as being home to his weaknesses: Ribera del Duero wines, bookstores, tapas, and shopping.

Accreditation

Bellarmine University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate, master’s, and doctorate degrees.

Study Abroad

Bellarmine offers a wide variety of study abroad options around the globe. Learn what opportunities are available to you on our Study Abroad and International Programs site.

Contact Information

Nelson López, Ph.D., Chair
502.272.8237 or nlopez@bellarmine.edu

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