The department of World Languages and Cultures at Salem State University offers instruction in seven languages: Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), French, German, Italian, Latin and Spanish. We have a B.A. in World Languages and Cultures (French, Italian or Spanish), six language minors (Arabic Studies, Chinese Studies, French, Italian, Spanish, and World Languages) and an undergraduate Certificate in Translation. We believe that second or third language skills are essential for the future success of our students, preparing them to be active participants in the increasingly globalized and multicultural society in which we live. We encourage all language students to study abroad, as immersion in a foreign language and culture is the best way to progress to linguistic and cultural proficiency. When we meet our new majors each fall, the first thing we tell them is that we hope that one day they will "go away"!
We want our students to "go away" but few of them do! Currently, approximately 1% of Salem State students study abroad. Compare that to their peers at private universities in Massachusetts: 30% of Clark University students study abroad, 46% of students at Bentley University, and 50% of students at Boston College. Our students work hard to pay for their education. It is wonderful to see students so dedicated to achieving their dream of a college education, but the cost of education is a burden for many who have to work multiple jobs, take out large sums in student loans, and often have family responsibilities in addition to their school work. For many, the thought of studying abroad for a summer or a full semester--let alone a full year--seems to be an impossible dream. Not only is there the additional cost of travel and tuition at another institution, but also they must give up the income they are earning from their part-time jobs while abroad. Financial concerns are the number one reason our students do not study abroad.
How can you help?
The department of World Languages and Cultures annually offers $1,000 in support of student travel for study abroad. We would like to expand that initiative and encourage more of our language students to go abroad. Our goal is to raise $5,000 to add to our $1,000 departmental awards. You can help by making a donation to our study abroad fund and by sharing this fundraiser with your friends. Help us to send our students away!