It is sometimes said that you cannot truly know another culture without knowing its language. In fact, culture informs the business environment of every country and knowledge of a foreign language is among the most immediately recognizable signs of a global mindset. According to a 2014 survey conducted by the Centers for International Business Education and Research (CIBERs), 90 percent of employers in the U.S. consider language skills to be important to the international experience of their staff.
Despite these facts, less than seven percent of students in the U.S. are enrolled in foreign language classes, according to the new #LanguageMatters campaign at the American Councils on International Education. At the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, the numbers may be even lower: fewer than three percent of our undergraduates are pursuing a minor or a second major in a foreign language.
TELL US WHAT LANGUAGES YOU SPEAK
The Office of Global Initiatives is creating an internal resource that will list the languages spoken by Smith School faculty and staff. To be included, please complete this brief survey about the languages you speak or are proficient in so that we can catalogue and share the information via the Intranet. We would appreciate your participation in this survey by the end of IEW, Friday, Nov. 18, 2016.
Beginning Monday, Nov. 14, 2016, the Office of Global Initiatives/CIBER hosts International Education Week (IEW) - a celebration of our multicultural - and multilingual - community. This year, the focus is on the importance of foreign language for business, particularly for our students, and on highlighting the language capabilities already present at Smith.
Smith School faculty and staff will receive a promotional door hanger with a tear-off schedule to save as a reminder to attend the week’s free events, and are encouraged to use it to write their name and any languages they speak or have studied and display it as a global conversation starter. The door hangers will also be distributed to students throughout the week.
For a complete schedule of IEW events, click here.
Join the conversation! #IEW2016
International Education Week is a joint initiative of the U.S. Departments of Education and State that celebrates the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide. To find out more about the initiative, please see the official IEW website. Hosted by the Office of Global Initiatives and the Center for International Business Education and Research.