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Language in International Studies

Language, even if learned only to a rudimentary level, can provide important insights into the cultural and historical characteristics of a nation/region that complement the other components of the BA IS programme.

Studying a new foreign language also exposes students first-hand to diverse concepts and ways of understanding the world, preparing them to handle the challenges of cross-cultural communication they may be exposed to as practitioners of International Studies in their professional lives later on. Finally, the language requirement separates International Studies from other internationally-orientated English-language degree programmes run by Leiden university at its Hague Campus. The course "Language in Practice", seeks to capitalize on this unique feature of the programme by helping students use sources in the language of their choice for their BA thesis.

Languages offered

The areas offered in the degree, and their corresponding languages are:

Area Foreign Language*
Africa Arabic, Berber, French, Portuguese, Swahili 
East Asia Japanese, Korean, Mandarin Chinese 
Europe Dutch, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese  
Latin America Portuguese, Spanish
Middle-East Arabic, Modern Hebrew*, Persian*, Turkish*
North America French, Spanish
Russia and Eurasia Russian
South and South-East Asia Hindi, Indonesian

Students have to decide about their preferred area of specialization and corresponding language towards the end of the first semester. Each year, in October or November, an area fair is organized where all the area's and languages are presented for the students, students can visit the fair for more information. For each area there are short presentations and there is an information market where the students can ask questions to area-, and language tutors and students. The Area Fair is organized on Friday afternoon (after the last exam) in the Midterm week in the first semester. Tutors are being asked to represent their area (answer questions from students) at the information market. The presentations are mostly given by area course lecturers.

* This language is only offered if there are enough participants.

Language in Practice

The course Language in Practice ties together the language acquisition courses with the content related courses of the programme. The purpose of this course is to integrate the language acquisition learning stream with the other learning streams within the International Studies programme. The course will do so by providing students with the tools to incorporate sources in the language they learnt in their BA thesis (which is written in English). Information regarding the Language in Practice courses can be found in the e-prospectus.

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