In 2016, the School of Modern Languages celebrated the 25th anniversary of its signature Language for Business and Technology (LBAT) summer work/study abroad programs. Now, the School has further strengthened the opportunities available to students by reintroducing LBAT programs in Peru and Senegal for summer 2017. In total, the School is sending more than 175 students abroad this summer to study in seven different languages. Program locations include China, Ecuador, France, Germany, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Mexico, Peru, Russia, Senegal, South Korea, and Spain.
The program is designed for students that have reached an intermediate level of language proficiency. LBATs are faculty-led immersion experiences, taught abroad in the target language that allows participants to significantly improve their language skills while providing an opportunity for in-depth understanding of the culture, history, and current affairs of the other country and its people. These programs guide students to identify and assess problems with a critical eye to the distinctive cultural roots and conditions from which they arise.
Language development is focused on stretching students toward advanced, professional-level interaction, and many students follow their LBAT experience with an internship abroad or exchange semester abroad. A number of past participants have gone on to work internationally after graduation. As one alumna put it, “The LBAT thoroughly prepared me to handle working in foreign languages and alongside people from all over the world.”
“The applied language focus of the LBAT programs at Georgia Tech is what truly sets them apart from other programs and why LBAT consistently attracts students from a wide cross-section of Georgia Tech majors,” said Modern Languages Chair Anna Westerstahl Stenport.
While taking into account the very different cultural contexts in which these programs operate, all of the programs share a similar structure that includes intensive coursework and research; professional site visits; fieldwork projects; expert speakers; and cultural excursions integrated with course content, and a technical language and understanding that is inherent in Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts which houses the School of Modern Languages.
Business and technology are examined from an interdisciplinary perspective as students explore how these issues have been shaped by the host country’s unique historical development, its law, its politics, its environmental concerns, and its own intercultural tensions and international relations.
Students develop greater comfort, confidence, and facility in using the language to debate controversial issues, interview professionals face-to-face, conduct fieldwork, deliver professional-level presentations, and engage with local professionals in various fields.
“The Ivan Allen College School of Modern Languages at Georgia Tech is proud of the rich history of the LBAT programs and is excited to prepare the next generation of global citizens,” Stenport said.
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