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Career Planning for Language Students

Beginning Steps...

Career pathways in humanities fields can begin differently than in some other fields because the work itself, and the life experiences it affords, are the attractions that open new networks of contacts and lead to bigger things.  

Talk with your professors about work related to the study of language and culture. Tell them your aspirations so they can share individualized opportunities that arise throughout the year.  

Consult classic how-to guides to finding meaningful work that's personally fulfilling, such as the book  What Color Is Your Parachute? Recently updated for the current job market.

Your skills matter.

Educate Yourself Using Resources Designed For You

Check out these UGA workshops and tools meant for you:

  • Arch Ready Sessions and Certificate  is a series of free workshops hosted by the Career Center, that cover everything from Building Your Professional Brand Online, to Negotiating Salaries, to Finding Job Ads to Apply to.
  • The UGA Mentorship Program allows UGA Students to connect with professionals, many of whom are UGA alumni, for informational interviews and one-on-one mentoring.
  • UGA Career Center personal assessment tools are a great way to learn more about your skills, interests, values, and personality- information that is essential for making informed choices about your career.
  • The Student Industry Fellows Program (SIFP) is an Innovation District initiative. The Program seeks to identify top undergraduate and graduate talent at the University of Georgia and prepare them for leadership roles in industry, government and community entities.

Ask your advisors for their insights related to your interests.  Reach out to these additional mentors who are here for Romance Languages students:

  • Dr. Christine Lasek-White is Internship and Career Coordinator for students of French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish. She can help with locating internships and career opportunities before and after graduation and is available in person in Gilbert Hall, Park Hall and over Zoom.  To set up an appointment, please email her:
  • Brandi Raines, MEd, Career Center Consultant for Romance Languages, will coach you on next steps, including creating an effective networking account such as LinkedIn, writing cover letters and personal statements, and preparing for interviews.  She meets one-on-one with undergraduates and graduate students. Schedule a meeting now since they fill up.

Make an appointment with Brandi

Identify Potential Jobs By Looking In The Right Places

Many desirable jobs are only listed by employers on their own websites or found by talking to people face-to-face.  Identify where you want to work.  Volunteering or interning where you hope to work, being visible in the physical space, means people will know you when a position opens up.  Go to their website to view open positions and inquire about them person-to-person.  Job boards on the internet can also be useful:

  • This is the largest job listing site in the world. If you search French, Italian, Portuguese or Spanish you will find a surprising array of positions across a spectrum of sectors, as well as internships in the U.S. that require a language.
  • LatPro This is the largest bilingual and multilingual jobs career board in the Americas.  Search French, Italian, Portuguese or Spanish for positions across employment sectors. 
  • The United States government is the country’s largest employer and hires all majors.  If you want a federal job, you need to look for listings on this government site.  You can search by job title, location, and agencies or departments, such as the FBI, Veteran’s Affairs, or IRS.
Prefer An Adventurous First Job?

First jobs after graduation might be seasonal adventures in global tourism as a travel guide such as these examples:

  • National Geographic Tour Leader "National Geographic Student Travel, together with Putney Student Travel, seeks extraordinary people to work as trip leaders, instructors, and program assistants on our student travel programs."
  • Backroads Travel "A job at Backroads is unlike any other job you'll ever have. You'll be challenged. You'll be inspired. And you'll be gratified. Because whatever you do here, you'll be part of something that makes us all proud—delivering authentic, enriching—and sometimes profoundly life-changing—experiences."
  • Concordia Language Villages "Concordia Language Villages staff speak a Village language, creatively teach culture, work and play hard. They also develop skills and qualities that will make them excellent employees in any field."

Meaningful first jobs through grants from government agencies and nonprofit organizations can be enjoyable building blocks on a life-long, satisfying path that grows upward mid-career and leads to high-level leadership positions.  They are also a great way to continue deepening your language skills and cultural knowledge while enjoying life after college.  Many of our former graduates have begun their careers through these programs:

  • AmeriCorps AmeriCorps is the federal agency for community service and volunteerism.  Grantees work summers or up to 12 months.  They provide a living allowance, loan deferment, educational awards and professional development in leadership.
  • Consular Fellows Program Become a Consular Fellow and use your language proficiency in Mandarin, Spanish, Arabic, or Portuguese as part of a unique national service program working in U.S. embassies and consulates abroad.
  • Fulbright The Fulbright U.S. Student Program provides grants for individually designed study and research projects abroad or for working as an English Teaching Assistant abroad.
  • NALCAP North American Language and Culture Assistants Program placements are offered all across Spain, in practically every city and town in the country, running from October 1st to May 31st with a monthly stipend of 700 to 1000 Euros depending on the assigned region and medical insurance from either the national government or the regional governments of Spain.  Hours of assistant teaching range from 12 to 16 hours per week.
  • PeaceCorps PeaceCorps volunteers receive a housing and a living stipend while they do work abroad including international health campaigns, boosting local entrepreneurship, and teaching digital literacy.  Returning grantees have access to reserved graduate scholarships and a specialized career opportunities. Plus the two-year program can offer excellent training in another world language.
  • TAPIF The Teaching Assistant Program in France offers you the opportunity to work in France for 7 months, teaching English to French students of all ages.  Each year, over 1,500 American citizens and permanent residents teach in public schools across all regions of metropolitan France and in the overseas departments of France such as French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique and Réunion.
  • Teach English for the U.S. Government Students with a Master's degree are eligible for the English Language Fellowship (ELF) which sends people around the world to work on English programs directly affiliated with a U.S. Embassy. See additional programs within the US Department of State for which language MAs are well-prepared. 
  • Venture for America This is a two-year fellowship program that places recent college graduates in positions across the U.S. with the goal of creating economic opportunity in American cities by mobilizing the next generation of entrepreneurs and equipping them with the skills and resources they need to create jobs.  
Internships in the Languages

Interning opportunities through UGA  Romance Languages study abroad programs can offer credit-bearing internships. Find out what opportunities are available through the Portuguese Flagship Program, the Teaching in Italy internshipUGA en Buenos Aires, UGA en España, and UGA en France by contacting the directors of those programs.  If you would like to use your language skills interning full-time in Washington D.C. for a semester and earn credit, look into UGA's Washington Semester Program


The links below are intended to help students independently identify external internship opportunities in French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish-speaking countries, or to find U.S. based internationally-oriented internships or ones that value language and humanities expertise. This is not an exhaustive list.

Some of the opportunities below are paid, while others are unpaid. Keep in mind that scholarship funding for study abroad or experiential learning can be used to fund an internship.  Start exploring these links now to become familiar with what's out there.  You'll need to plan ahead to have time to locate an opportunity, apply, and secure funding from all sources for which you are eligible.  It is recommended students begin looking for a summer internship during the previous fall semester.

Make an appointment with Christine Lasek-White, Internship and Career Coordinator for the Humanities, in the early stages of your search We encourage students to meet with a faculty member in the language of study, such as a current or previous professor, to discuss interviews and applications before submission.

UGA's Career Center also has resources on finding external internships. Even if you find an external internship but are not interested in taking it for credit, it can still count for your Experiential Learning requirement. The challenges of an internship in another country, or a bilingual internship in the U.S., build your complex problem-solving skills and awareness of how to adapt your communication style to others' needs.

Bonne chance, in bocca al lupo, boa sorte & buena suerte!

Certification in TESOL, ATA, K-12 to boost translator & teaching qualifications

UGA's Global TESOL Program

A certificate in teaching English to speakers of other languages, while not necessary to teach abroad, will make you competitive for the most desirable posts. This program is online.


How to Become a Certified Translator

The American Translators Association offers ATA certification which provides objective evidence that a translator possesses the knowledge and skills necessary to provide a quality translation.


Routes to K-12 Teacher Certification

The Georgia Professional Standards Commission provides several options to gaining certification for public school teaching, including getting certified on the job. Teaching in a private school may not require certification.



What About Graduate Or Professional School?

Masters and Doctoral degrees in a language are typically "free" meaning you receive tuition remission and a monthly stipend for your job working as a teaching assistant employed in the department. Your current professors for 4000 level courses in culture, linguistics and literature are knowledgeable about our graduate programs here at UGA and around the U.S.  

They can advise you on applying, amounts of funding, new directions in research, and areas of growth in academic professions. If you are considering graduate school in a language, or a field in which multilingualism is a plus, talk to them now.  If you'd like to see where an MA or PhD in a language & culture can lead you, check out our graduate alumni career placement.

Grad school
Graduate Student Job Search Postings

The Chronicle and Higher Ed include postings for a variety of jobs within academia. The Modern Language Association (MLA) posts teaching and research positions by field.  

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