"It was a really great way to connect with other people interested in language, and it was fun to live with those same people so we could easily talk outside of class! Coming from a bilingual household, it was nice to live with people who spoke another language as well, even if it wasn’t the same as mine. I’ve also made some really good friends through the program, and had the opportunity to have more personal, engaging interactions with my professors that I probably wouldn’t have had otherwise."
-Emilia, former student
“Finding and exploring common ground through the World Languages Scholars program was helpful in making college a little less scary, facilitating communication with your peers, and forming connections.”
- Maris, former student
The World Languages Scholars (WLS) Program supports students who are passionate about exploring foreign languages and cultures. Each semester, students in the program take one course in a language other than English and one theme-based seminar with the entire cohort.
The fall 2022 seminar, “Now on Netflix!: Producing and Streaming World Culture(s)” examines how Netflix’s transnational and translingual reach affects viewers’ experience of foreign cultures. Working with films and series like Okja, Money Heist, Midnight Diner, and Unorthodox, students explore how Netflix Originals appeal to audiences globally while also addressing key issues of cultural and linguistic diversity.
The spring 2022 seminar, “Not Your Mother’s Fairy Tales: The Making of National Identity” explores the role fairy tales have played and continue to play in the formation of national identity, themselves reflecting core communal practices and deep-seated beliefs. The course guides students as they read and analyze fairy tales in relation to the contested issues of national identity and cultural heritage in Russian-speaking areas, including Ukraine.
Socially, WLS grants students a place where knowledge about world cultures and language at UVM is actively shared and embraced, not only during their freshman year but also after completion of the program. Housed on the Athletic Campus, WLS students live close to the foreign language houses for sophomores and juniors, making for easy engagement in collaborative cultural and educational activities. Indeed, students who have completed the WLS program often go on to create and lead their own themed learning programs in subsequent years at UVM.
Academically, students in LASP build close relationships with faculty working in UVM’s language departments as well as many other departments, providing a springboard to opportunities in research, internships, and study abroad.
After their time at UVM, students with the sorts of linguistic and cultural expertise attained in the WLS program go on to travel the world and make a difference globally. Whether working in non-profit organizations, education, the business, locally and internationally, our students can make real-world use of their insights into language, culture, and the complex relationships between them.
Past Courses Include:
For further information, contact:
Bridget Levine-West, Professor of German and Film & Television Studies
Read more about Bridget on the German and Russian and Film & TV websites
WLS Application Question: WLS is designed for students who are committed to deep study of foreign culture and language, and who desire to build a community around (cross)-cultural and (cross)-linguistic exploration. In this essay, please describe how an experience in which you engaged with a language/culture other than your own (either in the classroom, through travel, online, or via a novel, film, etc.) has shaped your perception of the role languages play in creating community.