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Graduate Schools, Internships, and Jobs


A WORD OF ADVICE FOR CONCENTRATORS AND CO-CONCENTRATORS

We have listed below many different types of opportunities to develop careers and professions using your Latin American and Caribbean focus. It is very important to remember that if you want to pursue these possibilities it will be important that you gain at least a working knowledge of one of the languages spoken in Latin America and the Caribbean. Even graduate programs require that you have competency in at least one language of the region other than English. For this reason we strongly urge you to work on your language skills if you are interested in a career in LACS. You can do this through the Modern Foreign Languages and Literatures courses at Albright College, and/or through an intensive language institute in the United States, and/or through summer, semester, or year study abroad program. Please use your professors at Albright as a resource to help find the right language program for you!

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GRADUATE SCHOOLS

There can be no doubt that some of the careers will be more accessible with a Masters degree, or even a Ph.D. There are many good programs in Latin American and Caribbean Studies in the United States. Often, if your grades, GRE scores, interests, and/or skills are strong enough you can have your graduate school paid for through graduate assistantships or teaching assistantships. Good questions to ask yourself are: What do I see myself doing in five years? What part of the undergraduate program has most sparked my interest? Answering these questions will help you to pick the right graduate program.

You might also work with your advisor to think about WHO you might like to work with. Are there any books you read that really interested you, or angered you? Did you ever think of seeking out the person that wrote the book to be a possible graduate school mentor? Making personal contact is a great way to get a fellowship.

Here are some programs in Latin American and Caribbean Studies, many of which have graduate divisions.

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SERVICE LEARNING AND INTERNSHIPS

The Spanish department offers two service learning opportunities for students who are at an intermediate level of Spanish and who would like to try to apply their knowledge in real-life situations - Spanish 204-Service Learning Spanish, and Spanish 205-Spanish for Business. Both of these would be excellent courses for non-native speakers to prepare for an internship.

Semester long or summer internships give students the opportunity to work in real work-place settings and to extend their learning into the larger community. They can also be entries into certain kinds of careers and opportunities. For students interested in Latin American and Caribbean Studies, and especially those who have a good level of Spanish, there are many opportunities locally to work with a diverse population of people of Latin American and Caribbean heritage. Professors in the Latin American and Caribbean Studies programs should consult with their professors to help them obtain internships in the community.

In addition to local internships, there are opportunities for internshipsand fellowships elsewhere. For example, for qualified Latino students, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Fellowship has information on internships inside and outside Washington DC.

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JOBS

One of the big questions that I get about Latin American and Caribbean Studies is "what can I possibly do with a major in THAT?" In fact, a concentration in Latin American and Caribbean Studies along with foreign language proficiency can lead to careers in many different kinds of fields, from working with the environment, to teaching in an inner-city school, to the U.S. government, to non-governmental organizations (NGOs - often called "non-profits" in the United States).

There are many jobs available to people with cultural knowledge and some level of competency in a foreign language. One of the best resources available for thinking about and researching jobs in the field, possible graduate programs and scholarships, and internships, is the book AFTER LATIN AMERICAN STUDIES: A GUIDE TO GRADUATE STUDY AND EMPLOYMENT FOR LATIN AMERICANISTS . It is available on line and is an important resource for anyone interested in working in or in a field that has to do with Latin America. The Latin American Studies Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has a site that lists many kinds of opportunities, and ways to go about applying for the jobs. Although their site is geared mostly for graduates with Masters degrees, many of the opportunities they list are also open to students with undergraduate degrees. The University of Delaware has produced a useful page on careers for students with a major in Latin American and Caribbean Studies.  Just click on “Latin American Studies” on the link.

You should also take advantage of the Albright College Experiential Learning and Career Development Center, who can help you with job listings and resume writing skills. They can also counsel you on what might be the right road for you!

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