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Career Planning for Language Students

Beginning steps... 

Talk with your professors about post-graduate experiences, such as short-term work abroad, Fulbright grants, and other specialized career options related to the study of language and culture.  Ask your advisors for insights related to your interests. Tell them your aspirations so they can share individualized opportunities that arise throughout the year.  


Educate yourself using resources designed for you

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. Take a personal assessment to get to know yourself.  Add to your resume and skills by earning the Career Center's Arch Ready Professionalism Certificate. 

  • The UGA Mentorship Program  which allows UGA Students to connect with professionals, many of whom are UGA alumni, for informational interviews and one-on-one mentoring.
  • Arch Ready Sessions and Certificate  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.
  • Consult classic guides to meaningful work and personalized success, such as What Color Is Your Parachute? Recently updated in 2021 for the current job market.
  • UGA Career Center personal assessment tools Career assessments 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.

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 physical space, means people will know you when a position opens up.  Go to their website to view open positions and inquire about them in 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.
  • Find international internships 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.
  • 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 such as a tourism or travel company guide.  Meaningful first jobs through grants from government agencies and non profit 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Work abroad with a Fulbright The Fulbright U.S. Student Program provides grants for individually designed study and research projects or for English Teaching Assistant Programs.
Grad school

Thinking about Graduate School?

Masters and Doctoral degrees in a language are usually "free" meaning you receive tuition remission and a monthly stipend for working as a teaching assistant in the department. Your current professors for 3000-4000 level courses in culture, linguistics and literature know a lot about graduate programs here at UGA and around the U.S. They can advise you on applying, getting funding, new directions in research, and areas of growth in academic professions. If you are considering graduate school in a language or related field, talk to them now. 

Resources for MA and Phd students

  • Teach English for the U.S. Government MAs are eligible for the RELO 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.  
  • Explore certifications such as TESOL, ATA, or K-12 to boost qualifications as a teacher or translator. See links provided on this page.

The Chronicle and Higher Ed include postings for a variety of jobs within academia; MLA posts teaching and research positions by field.  


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