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language studies at Rice

crazymomstercrazymomster Posts: 1,868Registered User Senior Member
edited November 2012 in Rice University
My friend's S is considering which schools to apply to through Questbridge. He however does not have a great open mind so is looking for schools that offer a lot in terms of languages. I know he is also interested in environmental science, but his first passion is wanting to become a translator and he wants to learn many different languages. Does Rice have much to offer in terms of languages (more important than "culture")? I'm going to guess that Rice is good with enviro science.

If anyone is familiar with any of the other QB schools and what they may offer in terms of languages, any help would be appreciated.

I know that Rice is awesome and has outstanding financial aid.. my S goes to Rice! But I'm just trying to help a friend!

Thanks.
Post edited by crazymomster on

Replies to: language studies at Rice

  • silentsailorsilentsailor Posts: 1,266Registered User Senior Member
    I have a friend who loved, loved, LOVED the Hispanic Studies program. Rice's Spanish department is really solid and this let him work a summer in Mexico, a summer in Chile, and a semester in Argentina. After graduating, he's in Costa Rica on a Zeff Fellowship. Costa Rica would be a great place to go abroad to work both language skills and environmental work!

    Rice's Japanese and Chinese programs are also good - I have four recent grad friends who are either on fellowships or teaching English in those locations right now. The Arabic program is small but intense, and it's been the gateway to some tremendous opportunities for students who dedicate themselves to it. My boyfriend (again, just graduated) was a physics/policy studies double major interested in environmental policy; with Arabic, he's on a year-long fellowship in Cairo working on energy use and crop strategy with AUC's Desert Development Program. I've also had friends who took up Russian and German and heavily praised both of those programs.

    I imagine it would be very, very hard to take on more than one complex langauge (ex. Chinese and Arabic), but with an environmental studies major your friend's son could certainly do, say, Arabic and Spanish. Getting involved with the Baker Institute could provide him with a great background to work in diplomatic translating. Rice's programming in the languages is good, but what they allow you to *do* with those language skills is what makes the programs great.
  • FallenAngel9FallenAngel9 Posts: 2,429Registered User Senior Member
    I can say from experience that the Hispanic Studies and German Studies departments are FANTASTIC here. I haven't had a decent professor yet, and in a good way--every prof I've had has been simply superb. I'm in the 300s in German and loving it, and I just started Spanish this semester with two different profs, and both are amazing and I've learned a lot.

    I can't speak for other departments, unfortunately, but I would assume they are excellent as well.
  • yoyoman1yoyoman1 Posts: 43Registered User Junior Member
    I'm in Spanish and have had an amazing experience with my professor, who is excellent.

    I also have a friend who's taking Korean, and he really likes that class as well. (He says that there are 7 or so kids in his level of the class, and the professor let them decide when they wanted to meet to have class).
  • crazymomstercrazymomster Posts: 1,868Registered User Senior Member
    Lots of good responses..... I appreciate it!
  • crazymomstercrazymomster Posts: 1,868Registered User Senior Member
    My friend and her S are concerned about language (Hispanic) studies at Rice because it is "just" a certificate program. I haven't looked into this but wanted to ask those of you in the know. Does this mean it is not possible to get a degree in Spanish (for example) ?

    Thanks for any feedback.
  • silentsailorsilentsailor Posts: 1,266Registered User Senior Member
    You can get a degree in Hispanic Studies or Asian studies - both of which require extensive language courses -but you can't major in a language. Which is appropriate when you think about it because there's much more to a language than just learning the proper words. You can also just take 4 years of a language without majoring in either of those and achieve fluency. Getting a certificate in a language is a way of proving your fluency and is valued by employers, and required for jobs that rely heavily on language skills.
  • tchaikconcertotchaikconcerto Posts: 37Registered User Junior Member
    How is Chinese?
  • Dorian_ModeDorian_Mode Posts: 1,444Registered User Senior Member
    I took Chinese for three years at Rice and was very happy with the courses overall. Unfortunately my skills have deteriorated somewhat in the intervening time but by the time I graduated I felt very confident in the speaking skills I had developed. If you have more specific questions about the program, feel free to let me know and I'll do my best to answer.
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