Every Alleghenian completes a Senior Project in his or her major field—a significant piece of original research, designed by the student under the guidance of a faculty advisor, that demonstrates to employers and graduate schools the ability to complete a major assignment, to work independently, to analyze and synthesize information, and to write and speak persuasively.
Modern languages projects take two semesters: during the first, students write and defend a project proposal; in the second, they research, write, and defend orally the project itself. Many modern languages students pursue interests in other fields, choosing interdisciplinary or double majors and writing some of Allegheny’s most fascinating Senior Projects, such as:
Senior Projects that recently earned department honors:
Colette, historienne: représentations de la femme dans la littérature. (French/History)
L’Oubli collectif de mai 1968 dans les oeuvres de Daniel Cohn-Bendit. (French/Political Science)
Der Einfluss der amischen Religion auf Pennsylvanisches Deutsch. (German)
Understanding the Marginalized: A Quantitative and Qualitative Analysis of the Economic Issues Facing Latinos in the 21st Century. (Economics/Spanish)
Is the U.S. restrictive refugee policy toward Haitian migrants, based on their characterization as economic refugees, valid? ( Political Science, French)
Une Haute Idée: Edgar Dégas’ Late Works in Relation to the Symbolists. (Art History, French)
The Winds of Change: Policy Recommendations for Spain’s Wind Energy Sector. (Spanish/Political Science)
Das Frauenbild bei Max Frisch. (German)
Fronteras, limbos y “conga lines”: La identidad latina en el cine norteamericano contemporáneo. (Spanish)
Institutional Language Use in the European Union (International Studies)
As Assessment of the Health of German Soccer & Germany’s Role in the Future of the Game (International Studies/German)
“Study abroad! Going overseas will change your life forever. It will make you more marketable when you go to get a job and give you the confidence to do anything you dream of!!”
– Ann Richardson Radefeld ’99 (French & International Studies)
Students learning a foreign language are urged to spend a semester or preferably a year abroad. The College sponsors several distinct study-abroad programs that are open to all qualified Allegheny students. Allegheny’s financial aid may be used to support study in the following programs:
Allegheny College in Cologne, Germany
American University in Cairo, Egypt Program
Boston University internship program in Paris, France
CIEE Chinese Language, Culture, and Business Programs in Beijing, Nanjing, and Shanghai
Center for Cross-Cultural Studies in Seville, Spain
CIEE Liberal Arts Program in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Dakar, Senegal Internship
Querétaro, Mexico Program
Quito, Ecuador Internship
Université Catholique de l’Ouest in Angers, France
Students not enrolling in College-sponsored programs may, with the approval of the department and the Director of International Programs and Services, join other programs.
Phi Sigma Iota
Phi Sigma Iota is the international language honor society. Allegheny is the founding Alpha chapter of PSI, chartered in 1922. Outstanding language students are nominated for membership in the spring of each year.
Each year in the fall semester the department hosts a distinguished author from Germany to teach GERMAN 370: Creative Writing in German. The course emphasizes the creative use of German to develop vocabulary, improve individual style, and craft short prose texts. The program is funded by an annual grant from the Max Kade Foundation.
Center for Language and Culture
The Center for Language and Culture offers the opportunity for supervised language study. Depending on student enrollment and the availability of resources, selected languages may include beginning level American Sign Language (ASL) or English as a Second Language. Students contemplating such study must submit an application to the CLC Director as early as possible during registration.
Max Kade International Wing
Special-interest housing open to students studying Arabic, Chinese, French, German or Spanish, plus the International House, open to any student with a strong interest in world cultures and events.
Language Tables & Social Hours
Several days a week, interested students and faculty meet for lunch and/or coffee hours. There are regular events in Chinese, French, German, and Spanish.
International Film Festival
A 5-week series of new, internationally renowned films from around the world is offered in late January to early March.
Students have the opportunity to publish their own creative work in a foreign language. In 2018, the Phi Sigma Iota language honor society assumed leadership of the journal and launched a stunning new website.