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Advanced language courses prepare students for careers in international affairs

FlagsThe competition for a career in international affairs is fierce, but students at IWP have the opportunity to distinguish themselves among the sea of resumes flooding the desks of recruiters.

“Government agencies like the CIA, DoD, State Department, FBI and DHS,  as well as government contractors, multinational corporations, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are looking for professionals who can speak critical foreign languages, have knowledge of the culture, and and possess a background in national security and international affairs,” says  IWP Director of Career Services, Derrick T. Dortch.  “Developing a proficiency in one of these languages and their cultures gives you a significant competitive advantage when looking for a job.”

An IWP student who has been studying Arabic with Professor Hashem Mekki agrees.  “In a job interview, one of the first questions asked is whether you speak another language,” he comments.

IWP’s language courses are offered from beginner to advanced levels, and are uniquely focused for students preparing for careers in national security and international affairs.  Students learn vocabulary that is relevant to current politics, economics, diplomacy, and military issues, and are trained to understand mass media in the language they are learning.  

With advanced language knowledge, students can demonstrate to potential employers that they can produce great work in a multicultural, multilingual working environment.

“Students can gain the critical language skills and cultural knowledge required to work effectively in the fields of intelligence, national and homeland security and international affairs by pairing these language courses with area study courses offered at IWP,” says Mr. Dortch.  

Another opportunity for IWP students is the option of a language immersion program through AMBergh Education ( This program is created for working adults, unlike many other study-abroad programs at universities. Students can take courses one-on-one or in very small groups, and they can start a course any time of the year. This program can take place in various locations abroad, including St. Petersburg, Morocco, Cairo, and several places in China. There are other programs in Ukraine available, which in the past have been recommended due to tailored learning and no need for a visa.  

By living and studying abroad in non-English speaking countries, students hone their language skills and show that they are motivated, independent, and able to adapt in a variety of situations.