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New program aims to prepare students for international jobs

An international certificate program designed for students interested in gaining international or intercultural competency is accepting applications now, an officer for the Center for International Studies said.

The Certificate in International Studies program aims to prepare students for international jobs and becoming global citizens by guiding them through the program accomplishing three major components: knowledge, skills and interactive perspectives, said Tracy Williams, associate director for the Center for International Studies.

In interactive perspectives, students will interact with international students or immigrants in Fort Worth, Williams said.

Many universities and colleges have an international studies major or minor, but none of them have a program like TCU’s because it requires students not only to have knowledge, but also skills, attitude and application in international studies, Williams said.

“We want students to be able to talk about specific things they’ve learned about the world when they are at an international job interview,” Williams said. “This is a multidisciplinary and multi-tier approach to international learning. We want to make sure students who have studied abroad are really ready to be global citizens.”

Besides studying abroad or majoring or minoring in a foreign language, Williams said students will choose from activities such as the Model UN or global leadership programs to meet the skills requirement.

It will take about three years to complete all the requirements in this program, which will appear on a TCU transcript, Williams said, and the department plans to have 20 to 25 students each year.

Sharon Fairchild, chair of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, said this program is perfectly suited for students majoring or minoring in foreign languages.

“You can’t learn a language without learning the culture,” Fairchild said. “Adding to the knowledge in languages, this program allows students to apply their intercultural skills in activities on campus and in the international community.”

Gayle said some students can become conversation partners with students in the Intensive English Program in order to gain international perspectives.

He said an American student can help an international student practice English while learning the language of the country where that international student is coming from.

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