New curriculum prepares language and culture specialists for job market
This autumn, the College of Foreign Languages and Cultures of the University of Tartu opens a new master’s curriculum that offers in-depth studies of major European languages and cultures. Thanks to the choices the curriculum provides, the students can build their own unique professional profile. Traineeship opportunities help them gain valuable experiences for entering the job market.
According to Kersti Lepajõe, Director of the College of Foreign Languages and Cultures of the University of Tartu, students studying in the master’s curriculum “European Languages and Cultures” can design their own personal path of studies thanks to a wide range of choices, combining the studies of the cultural space of their main field of specialisation with some other field, starting from semiotics and translation studies to international relations.
The students can choose their main field of specialisation among the following options: English language and literature, French language and literature, Spanish language and literature, Russian and Slavonic philology, German language and literature, Scandinavian languages and cultures, and classical philology.
In all specialisations, students engage in the chosen language and cultural space by the means of foreign-language studies. The elective course module allows learning some other foreign language, that is increasingly important in the continuously internationalising job market.
“In today’s ever-changing world, that kind of individual specialisation and flexibility are very important. It is also vital that graduates have strong practical skills in addition to good knowledge of a foreign language and culture,” Lepajõe added.
“The recently published results of the survey among the 2012 graduates of Estonian higher education institutions revealed that insufficient practical training is the weakest aspect of our university studies. When designing the new master’s curriculum, we gave more thought on which competences and practical training the students need to become successful interpreters, guides, editors, culture workers, teachers or employees of diplomatic and cultural representations,” said Lepajõe.
This is why the teaching staff of the specialisation are leading specialists of their respective field in Estonia, have a wide international experience and have proven themselves as both researchers and practitioners. Studies related to examples from the practitioners’ everyday life are supplemented by various traineeship opportunities in the private and public sector, in addition to the long-established translation traineeship of philologists.
The new curriculum will also contribute to the college’s master’s school in linguistics and translation studies that will be created in cooperation with three curricula of the Faculty of Philosophy: Estonian and Finno-Ugric linguistics, European languages and cultures, and translation studies.
Lepajõe says that joint master’s schools allow the students to specialise in their chosen more narrow fields. “Considering the variety of the specialisations of the Faculty of Philosophy, this will definitely bring about exciting dialogues,” believes the director.
The College of Foreign Languages and Cultures was created at the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Tartu on 1 January 2015 on the basis of the Language Centre and the Institute of Germanic, Romance and Slavonic Languages and Literatures. Bringing the learning of foreign languages together in one structural unit makes language learning and many other services more accessible for the entire university and the society.
Additional information: Kersti Lepajõe, Director of UT College of Foreign Languages and Cultures, tel: +372 737 6127, +372 516 5347, email: kersti.lepajoe [ät] ut.ee.