Jonathan Anderson enjoying a uah internship abroad

How to fulfill your WLC Capstone Requirement

Foreign Language majors, Secondary Education in Foreign Language majors, and Foreign Language and International Trade majors all have to fulfill a Capstone requirement. There are multiple ways to do this, including courses, internships, and study abroad. We strongly encourage all students to study or intern abroad, but if that is not possible, there are local options available.

Explore your options below and contact the Office of Study Abroad, the WLC Chair, and/or the lead faculty member in your language for more information:

Option 1: WLC 409 - Senior Seminar in Comparative Languages and Cultures

(3 credit hours)

If you are not able to go abroad and cannot find a viable local internship, this course is offered in the spring semester. It is focused on a theme of the professor’s choosing that the class explores in the cultures and literatures of our major languages, French, German, Russian, Spanish, and beyond (in English translation). Possible topics include environmental studies through literature, music and culture, gender and family, faith and religion, and food cultures. WLC 409 may also be taken as an upper-level elective by students who complete an internship or study abroad for their Capstone.

Option 2: WLC 410 - International Internship

(6 credit hours)

If you really want to boost your language and cultural skills, and add a fantastic line to your resume, this is the option that you want! The international internship involves at least 4 weeks of full-time work abroad in the student’s language of study as well as related academic assignments. Most students complete internships abroad in the summer, and you should begin planning in the fall semester prior to your summer trip (or 2+ semesters prior to a semester-long trip). Also, WLC 303: Language for Life and Professions is a prerequisite for WLC 410, so talk to your advisor about getting that in before your internship. Interested students should contact the Office of Study Abroad for help locating an internship through one of our affiliate programs. If you have connections abroad and want to arrange for a work experience outside of an affiliate program, your plans must preapproved by the Office of Study Abroad and the Department of World Languages and Cultures.

In addition to the benefits of traveling and working abroad, Foreign Language and International Trade majors who complete a 6-credit-hour internship abroad can use those extra 3 hours in place of WLC 305 or WLC 404.

Option 3: WLC 410 - Local or Domestic Internship

(3 credit hours)

Local internships are most suitable for language education majors, who can combine their observation hours or student teaching internship with WLC internship requirements. Other students may only pursue a local (in the Huntsville area) or domestic (in the U.S.) internship if they can identify an opportunity that includes significant interaction with their language of study. Students interested in a local/domestic internship should begin planning 1-2 semesters in advance and be proactive about identifying opportunities. Talk to the lead professor in your language for possible tips and contacts in the community. WLC 303 is a prerequisite for WLC 410, so talk to your advisor about getting that course on your schedule before your internship.

Local/domestic internship opportunities must be approved in advance by the WLC department chair and the lead faculty member in the student’s language. Local/domestic internships require at least 120 hours of work in addition to related academic assignments. WLC 410 can be taken in any semester, and if work opportunities do not align conveniently with the semester calendar, arrangements can be made for students to begin work early or finish late (except in the case of graduating students, who must finish and receive a grade to graduate on time).

Option 4: WLC 499 - Study Abroad or Domestic Language Immersion Programs

There is nothing to help you learn like immersing yourself in language and culture, whether abroad or closer to home! Students may substitute a study abroad course to fulfill the WLC 409/410 requirement as long as the course is at the 300-level or above and is the equivalent of a 3 credit-hour course (approximately 45 contact hours). There are also University-level language programs around the U.S. that offer intensive summer immersion courses in world languages. Study abroad/immersion programs must be approved in advance by the Office of Study Abroad and course substitutions are approved by the WLC Department Chair. Depending on the level and content, courses from study abroad and other programs may also be substituted for other WLC requirements at the discretion of the department chair. Think about a whole summer or semester abroad—you could fulfill multiple WLC requirements including the Capstone, and your language and cultural skills would skyrocket!