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Language majors after graduation: What now?

Opportunities after graduation - Graduate school

Not ready to enter the work force yet? Well, you're not alone. Many graduates opt not to step directly into a career right after graduation. There are many other opportunities at your fingertips that can broaden your experience, beef up your résumé, and -- eventually -- help increase your chances of landing the job of your choice.

Postgraduate opportunities

Fulbright Scholarships: The Fulbright Program offers a variety of grant opportunities, including comprehensive Fulbright grants and Fulbright travel grants to graduates and graduating seniors for advanced study in the U.S. and (for U.S. citizens) in over 140 countries.

Fulbright English Teaching Assistantships: Selected participants work for one academic year in a school or university in a foreign country in Europe, Asia, or South America, assisting in the teaching of English language and American culture. Participants receive a stipend, paid round-trip airfare, and other benefits. Applicants must have B.A. at time the award year begins. Graduate students are welcome to apply.

Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarships: The program sponsors several types of scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students as well as for qualified professionals pursuing vocational studies. While abroad, scholars serve as ambassadors of goodwill to the people of the host country and give presentations about their homelands to Rotary clubs and other groups. Upon returning home, scholars share with Rotarians and others the experiences that led to greater understanding of their host countries.

Fascell Fellowship Program: One- or two-year fellowships for graduates of programs focused on Eastern European, Slavic, or Mandarin Languages to work in support of a diplomatic or consular mission in Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, or China.

Thomas J. Watson Fellowships: One-year grant to support independent travel and study outside the US to work on a project that is creative, feasible, and personally significant. Awarded to graduating seniors from participating institutions. US citizens and foreign nationals studying at US institutions may apply.

The Peace Corps: Jobs living and working in 72 developing countries around the globe. Collaborating with local community members, volunteers work in areas like education, youth outreach and community development, the environment, and information technology.
Volunteer International: Search by country or by field for volunteer opportunities throughout the Americas.
CIEE Volunteer projects: Search by country or by field for unique volunteer opportunities in 30 countries. Volunteers live in a camp and work with locals and other international volunteers. Search using the name of the language(s) you speak for some fun international summer jobs.
Great Au Pair: Find work living abroad as an au pair.
Easy Au Pair: Au pair-family matching service for international child care jobs.

Also see our list of Internship resources.

Graduate school

A degree in a foreign language provides an excellent foundation for further graduate study in a number of fields. Many graduate programs require or recommend a knowledge of one or more languages as part of their degree requirements. Making a language part of your undergraduate experience not only puts you ahead of the game once you're in graduate school, but it can also make you a stronger candidate during the application process. If you're not yet sure what you want to be when you grow up, then you may want to delay your application to graduate school. The B.A. language major is a generalist Liberal Arts degree that allows you to gain entry into a broad array of fields. With an advanced degree, you begin to narrow your focus and become more specialized.

Graduate School Guide: The comprehensive on-line guide to doctoral, masters, and professional programs.  Resource for graduate school information with over 58,000 programs listed. The site contains a comprehensive directory categorized by curriculum and subdivided by geography.
Peterson's on the Web: The most heavily traveled education resource on the web.
The Writing Web: Some great tips and advice on writing graduate school application essays.
There are lots of opportunities for foreign study while you are in graduate school, and knowing a language can help you obtain fellowships and scholarships for studying abroad. See our pages about grants for graduate language study for more information.
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