Case Notes: Business of Modern Languages Proves a Cultural Experience Ruth Sanderson Got More Than She Planned out of Her Year in France - a Job and a Boyfriend
Sanderson, Ruth, The Independent (London, England)
THE MIXTURE of business with modern languages proved the ideal combination for Ruth Sanderson, who has just completed a four-year BA hons in applied modern languages at the University of Northumbria.
Ruth says: "I've always been fascinated by languages, but I wanted to make sure the course I took would be relevant to the world of business."
The course Ruth chose included a year in France, and she spent her entire third year at the university, of Dijon, earning in the process the equivalent French degree of a BA hons, the "Licence".
Her two specialist languages were French and German, and as well as learning the language the course also took in the history, cultural aspects and the economic environment of the two countries.
Ruth said: "In the first year we covered business organisation and policy, marketing and international marketing, as well as nations studies, which looks at various aspects of the history of each country, such as the collaboration in France." This particular course did not include any literature, and most of the language work consisted of translations and aural classes.
After the first year, most of the tutorials and lectures were held in the relevant language, often with the foreign language students attending Northumbria on the exchange scheme.
"We also had to put together specific projects focusing on certain regions. I chose Calais, and had to explain why it was good for business, the different grants available and the distribution channels," Ruth says.
"Other people were given a specific product to market in an area of the country. This was really good experience because you had to make contact with the relevant area, writing to the chambers of commerce in the different regions to find out about grants and such like. …