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Overview of the Program

The Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures was recently recognized by the Modern Language Association as one of the top 100 language departments nationwide. Students are able to study a variety of languages and cultures with exceptional faculty. Students gain a solid understanding of French, German, Latin American, Middle Eastern and Spanish cultures.

Within the department, the following programs are available:

Majors in French, German, French-German, Latin American studies, Middle Eastern studies and Spanish

Minors in French, German, French-German, Latin American studies, Middle Eastern studies and Spanish.

Courses in Arabic, Latin and ancient Greek, and English courses in world literature and mythology.

The majors prepare students for graduate studies or for careers in teaching, government, business, nonprofit and international organizations. All courses in the French, German, French-German and Spanish majors and minors are taught exclusively in the target languages. Given the interdisciplinary nature of Latin American studies and Arabic/Middle Eastern studies, language courses are taught in the target language and content courses are taught in either English or the target language.

Unique Aspects of the Program

Students meet leading writers and critics from Europe and Latin America on campus as part of the department's annual lecture series. Recent visitors include:

  • Carme Riera, award-winning Spanish novelist
  • Jean-Marc Chatelain, head curator at the National Library of France
  • Members of the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, an Argentinian human rights organization that received the UNESCO Prize for Peace Education in 1999
  • Peter Schneider, award-winning German novelist and political activist
  • Youssouf Amine ElAlamy, renowned Moroccan artist and author

Students can participate in the ongoing scholarly activities of our fac- ulty as part of the Summer Research Institute, which awards grants to teams of faculty and students for research and travel. Under the guidance of faculty members, students have recently traveled to Paris to research representa- tions of power in 17th century France at the bibliothèque Nationale de France; to Marrakesh, Morocco, to research the influence of photography in creating national Moroccan identity; and to Buenos Aires, Argentina, to work on a translation project of Tomas E. Martínez's literary works.

Hood's faculty, active scholars and a critically acclaimed novelist believe strongly that excellent teaching and scholarly research complement one another, bringing new perspectives and fresh ideas to the classroom.

Language Placement Exams

Students take an online placement test in one or several languages before registration. Those who place in 103 take the course in their first semester at Hood and receive a grade of "C" or higher will receive six credits upon completion of the class. Students who place into 203 or 204 or into a civilization class will receive nine credits. Students placing into 207, 208 or a higher level course will receive 12 credits.

French, German and Hispanic Residences

Students may choose to live in a house dedicated to the study of French, German or Spanish. Each house is under the leadership of a graduate student who is a native speaker of the language and who serves as a lan- guage assistant in the department.

Living in a language residence enables students to practice the language daily, as they are expected to speak French, German or Spanish while in the residence.

Internships and Study Abroad

Many Hood French majors spend their junior year abroad in Toulouse, Nice or Paris, France. French students may intern with a government agency or with an international corporation or organization.

In the United States, internship sites include the French Embassy, the U.S. Information Agency and the CIEE Student Center in New York City.

Spanish students find themselves studying at the University of Seville in Seville, Spain, or at the Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra in the Dominican Republic, surrounded by the language, people and culture they have studied in their classes. Students also take advantage of Hood's proximity to organizations and embassies near the nation's capital. Internship sites include the Organization of American States, the Mexican Embassy and the National Association of Cuban American Women.

French-German majors are required to spend one semester in France or one semester in a German-speaking country.

German students have the opportunity to study in Munich or Mainz, Germany. Students also may take advantage of the German, Austrian and Swiss embassies, and the Goethe Institute in Washington, D.C.

Middle Eastern studies majors and minors have the opportunity to study at American University in Cairo, Egypt, for one or two semesters.

Alumni Success Stories

Graduates of Hood's language program have pursued graduate study at:

  • American University
  • Bryn Mawr College
  • Columbia University
  • Georgetown University
  • Harvard University
  • Middlebury College
  • Rutgers University
  • University of Colorado
  • University of Maryland
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Virginia
  • University of Wisconsin

Our majors and double-majors are also employed as:

  • Business owners and managers
  • Government and media employees
  • Health professionals
  • High school teachers
  • Interpreters and translators
  • University professors

Learn more about the major.