Semester Abroad

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by TheEvanCat, Mar 16, 2015.

  1. TheEvanCat

    TheEvanCat Member

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    I've been looking at the USMA's language programs because I've taken a lot of French in highschool (8th-11th grade, excluding this year because they didn't have a high enough level French class to go into) and I'm looking at continuing it at West Point. However, I don't believe I want to major in a language. At the same time, I do want to have a semester abroad opportunity where I can go to somewhere like Saint Cyr in France and have that experience. Is this restricted to language majors only? From what I've read, it seems so (unlike, for example, USAFA, who just has language students go but not necessarily majors.)

    If I am able to go abroad to a Francophone country, what can I expect about stuff? When can I go? Obviously not plebe year. How is it done selection-wise? How many students typically go?
     
  2. Dixieland

    Dixieland Member

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    I don't know about other cadets, but my cadet did not get to continue in his high school language at West Point. I believe he was told what he would take, so he had to learn a new language while at West Point. You might end up in Chinese or Russian. :thumb:
     
  3. SF1775

    SF1775 Member

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    I have heard this as well, that cadets can't pick a language. I am quite invested into my second year of high school Arabic, and I am wondering if this is always the case. It would be disappointing to be placed into another language.

    -USMA '19
     
  4. bookreader

    bookreader Member

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    Well, WP offers Arabic, so you may be able to continue with it. You can even major in Arabic at WP.
    My son took Hebrew all throughout high school but they don't offer it at WP, so he'll have to take another language. Bummer.
     
  5. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

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    During Beast, you’ll be asked the top three languages you want to study. Along with that, you will be asking what three languages you have experience with. If you select a strategic language like “Arabic, Russian, Chinese (Cantonese, mandarin)” and you have experience you’ll be selected by the language departments. Most other languages you have a 90% chance of selection. If it’s a common language such as Spanish or French these departments fill up fast. If Spanish or French is your selection without any prior experience you will not be selected.


    To major a language you will have more of academic load for that language. You can apply for an Academic Study Abroad for the country you selected due to your study of that language. Your chances will increase the further along you go during Yuk and Cow years.


    Having a major in a language is considered soft, thus you can double major. They do not have any minors in language. And only have 5 areas to minor, languages are not included.


    I hope that made senses. Haha


    Push Hard, Press Forward
     
  6. mom3boys

    mom3boys Parent

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    Hey, don't knock those soft majors! The Dean said, "study what you like--you already have a job waiting." So, DS did: he liked German (aka soft major, apparently!). Why?? So he could have the class rank necessary to branch aviation. He wasn't sure if he could obtain that rank w/ an engineering major. He was on Dean's List every semester and had the wreath-thing (his words). Got his branch choice w/out ADSO. Of course, now he's royally screwed as he selected OH-58, but that's another story. He did have a semester abroad at the Austrian Military Academy where it was required he learn to ride a horse and waltz. Those were hard...why would anyone call this "soft"??? :confused:
     
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  7. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

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    Oh believe me not giving any discredit to “soft” majors of study. And I hope readers here see the politics that take place. The undertow of struggling and cutthroat competition to rise to the top. I feel the competitiveness is very necessary to have the cream rise. You need to have highly motivated, competitiveness, self-driven folks in our nations leadership. Either in the military or civilian, and most of these military leaders will be in the civilian business arena.


    Leadership is a very lonely place to be.


    Push Hard, Press Forward

    BTW: Your book is excellent and congrats to your '19. Thank you for being a strong parent!!
     
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  8. mom3boys

    mom3boys Parent

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    Awww, thanks Tug! I'm honored you took the time to read my book!
     
  9. NewJersey2019

    NewJersey2019 Member

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    I only have experience studying Classical Latin (other than the basics of Spanish in middle and elementary schools). Would that put me out of eligibility to study French, even if I wanted to major in it? I knew spots for Spanish and French are difficult to obtain, but I didn't realize they were totally exclusive to those with prior experience in each language.
     
  10. bookreader

    bookreader Member

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    I"m also sorry to hear that Spanish is only for those who have previously studied it. My son would like to study it at WP but he did not study it in high school as he chose another language.
     
  11. cb7893

    cb7893 Member

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    Why can't he study Arabic. It is in the same language family as Hebrew:



    If he put a little effort into it over the summer, he would start out miles ahead, making his life much easier. My DS spent his junior year of high school in Brazil (doing everything in Portuguese), then aced AP Spanish as a senior having never taken a day of Spanish in his life. He then took Italian in college and aced it without ever studying.

    Best of luck to him!
     
  12. ca2midwestmom

    ca2midwestmom Member

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    I'm not sure how cadets are placed for foreign languages, but my 2018 cadet took 3 yrs of Latin in high school and was placed in Portuguese (and will start next year). Both are Romance languages. Since Spanish and French are also Romance languages, you may have the option. My DS said he had to list his top 3 preferences during Beast.

    And either I read it or heard it during R-Day that you won't be placed in a strategic language (Arabic, Russian, Chinese) unless you list it as a preference and/or have already studied it.
     
  13. NewJersey2019

    NewJersey2019 Member

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    I will definitely consider Portuguese. One of the main reasons I studied Latin was to get a solid foundation on which I could study Romance languages, so I hope that reasoning comes to use at USMA. Thanks!
     
  14. bookreader

    bookreader Member

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    My son did take some instruction in Arabic during high school but it not nearly as similar as it seems.

    Portugese and Spanish are quite similar. I studied Spanish in high school and college and found myself at a museum one day reading the descriptions by the exhibits. I was fairly far along before I discovered that the desriptions were all written in Portugese. Until that day, I had never had any experience withe Portugese. Yes, these two languages are very similar.
     
  15. Fetinia

    Fetinia New Member

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    Does being fluent in one of the "strategic" languages give any extra advantage for admission?
     
  16. tug_boat

    tug_boat Member

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    I don't know admissions views that. I would like to think if you have cultural and language experience you would have an advantage. I do know it would help you if you double majored

    Push Hard, Press Forward
     
  17. waggingtails

    waggingtails Member

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    You can take Hebrew at West Point. It is taught by the Jewish Chaplain, Rabbi Soussan.
     
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  18. waggingtails

    waggingtails Member

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    I posted below, but just realized that it would be best to Reply directly to your post. Hebrew is offered at WP. It is taught by Rabbi Soussan, the Jewish Chaplain.
     
  19. bookreader

    bookreader Member

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    Hey, that's great to know! I didn't see it in the list of languages, but perhaps I missed it. Thanks for the heads up!
     
  20. waggingtails

    waggingtails Member

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    We are also from NJ-7, so if you need any more information just send me a PM
     
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