New geopolitical realities and challenges of the 21st century created a growing demand for professionals with a high level of skill in strategic languages, especially in Arabic, Chinese and Russian.
According to testimony before the US Senate subcommittee on International Operations and Terrorism, roughly half of the US State Department postings are filled with people lacking necessary language skills. According to the Government Executive Magazine, 2,851 positions in the Department of State, 1,792 special agents at the FBI and about 15,000 positions in the US Army require proficiency in those languages. Currently, there is a 46% shortage of specialties in Arabic, Korean, Chinese, Farsi and Russian.
Therefore, mastery of a foreign language is an essential tool for students of statecraft and national security who wish to develop a thorough understanding of foreign cultures and international affairs. IWP offers instruction in Arabic, Chinese and Russian at the introductory, intermediate and advanced levels, as well as summer immersion courses in the Middle East, China and Russia. Those students with a foreign language requirement take a final proficiency exam in the chosen language consisting of 3 parts.
- Student's presentation based on his or her area of expertise.
- Translation and close analysis of the original article in the target language (with the help of the dictionary).
- General comprehension test of a specialized article selected by the examination board, conducted in English or in the target language.
Those with an exceptionally good command of a foreign language have an opportunity to take an annual written exam leading to a postgraduate award in the chosen language from the chartered Institute of Linguists (UK).