IB FOREIGN LANGUAGE TRACK
The IB Foreign Language Track allows students to focus their language studies, cultural coursework, and international experience on a single region, giving them unparalleled understanding in the business culture of their chosen region.
Dive Deep into Another Business Culture
Students pursuing the Foreign Language Track complete both IB 350 (International Trade) and International Business Operations (IB 378) and engage in a deep dive into a single foreign culture consisting of aligned language coursework, area studies coursework, and study abroad.
Student should note that the Global Skills Track of the IB Major allows for considerable customization with more flexibility with respect to specific classes. Students interested in the Foreign Language Track should therefore speak with their academic advisor about Track selection and potential challenges relating to course availability and hours restrictions in the Language Track.
The Geographic Focus Region
Students are encouraged to explore language and area study coursework offerings at UT prior to settling on a geographic focus. Typically a geographic focus is a single country (e.g. Spain, Korea, Brazil) rather than a region, although a broader geographic range may be approved if specialized coursework is not available for countries in a specific region (e.g. Arabic-speaking Middle East).
Students complete classes in the language classes and area studies classes associated with the focus region, and complete their international experience in that region.
Please note that countries in which English is the official/predominate language (e.g. United Kingdom) are generally not considered suitable for geographic focus due to the lack of available foreign language study.
Planning & Approval Process
To ensure that the focus of language studies, area studies coursework, and international experience are in alignment, students are encouraged to work closely with their academic advisor, and are encouraged to consider the Skills track where they can pursue language and cultural coursework without restrictions associated with the Langauge Track.
Integration of this focused coursework into the degree audit occurs as follows:
1. Language courses, including upper division language courses, are automatically recorded in the degree audit.
2. Guidance on area studies coursework is below, and this guidance applies to courses taken in residence and abroad.
3. Suggested area studies offered each semester by UT are be published on this site prior to early registration for that semester. (Current Offerings)
4. Students consult their academic advisor and complete a Degree Modification Request for each proposed area studies course.
5. Area studies courses are be approved in accordance with the below guidelines, and Degree Audits are updated accordingly. In the event a desired course is not approved, students can contact the Center for Global Business for more information.
Language Coursework Guidance
Foreign Language Track students must complete 6 upper division hours of the primary language associated with their country of focus. Courses must be taught in the designated language, and must focus on the development of language skills through conversation, writing, or other communication. In order to complete this requirement, student typically need to complete (or receive credit for) an additional 12-18 hours of lower division language coursework. More info on sequencing is available here.
Notes on Spanish Language Regions
Although they share a language and history, Spain, Mexico, and Spanish-speaking Latin America are all considered different regions for purposes of the IB major, and students pursuing a Spanish-speaker focus must select from these areas. Although, a course about Spanish influence in Latina America may be appropriate as one of the "broader" courses for either Spain or Latin America (see above).
- SPN 367D (Business in Hispanic Life and Culture) can count towards either a language course or an area studies course (regional course).
- SPN 327C (Advanced Grammar & Writing in Context) and SPN 328C (Intro to Literature & Culture) can count always towards Spanish Language. It can also count as Spanish Culture or Latin American Culture, depending on the geographic focus in the specific course offering (as conveyed by the section's syllabus).
LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY TAKES TIME
It typically takes between 18-24 credit hours reach intermediate proficiency in a language and satisfy the language requirement for the IB Foreign Language Track. Students in this track are therefore expected to start completing language coursework no later than the start of their sophomore year at UT.
Area Studies Coursework Guidance
Foreign Language Track students must complete 9 upper division hours of area studies coursework associated with their country of focus. At least 6 of these hours are expected to focus specifically on their selected country (not the broader region), although one broader regional or cross-border course may be counted towards the area studies requirement provided the course includes materials specifically related to the focus country.
Students are generally expected to focus their area studies coursework on history, political science, and business culture. They are therefore limited to one approved area studies course in each of the following subject matter areas:
- Literature/Art History
- Popular Culture/Cinema
- Religious Studies, Food, and Family
PLEASE NOTE: Area studies course offerings can often be limited at UT. Students therefore frequently need to take at least one area studies course while abroad.
APPROVED AREA STUDIES COURSES
Each semester CGB publishes a list of approved area studies courses being offered at UT. Please click here for the current offerings and contact your academic advisor with questions.
International Experience Guidance
Students in the Foreign Language Track must complete an international experience in their region (country) of focus. Because the cultural aspects of the international experience are of particular import to the curriculum, only certain May Term programs are approved for use towards the Foreign Language Track.
Please Note: The International Experience requirement on the Degree Audit will not be updated until a student completes at least 3 upper division hours of the associated language and 3 hours of approved area studies coursework. This is to ensure that the three elements of the regional focus remain in alignment.