Some key distinctives of the Messiah language program:
- The study abroad programs that we collaborate with have been carefully selected by Messiah language faculty to ensure both academic rigor and quality living conditions that allow for wide-ranging interaction with the local population on a daily basis.
- The Department of Modern Languages prepares students for study together with native residents of China, France, Germany, Chile and Spain by ensuring that they have obtained at least a high intermediate level of language proficiency and cultural competence before granting approval to study in any one of these countries.
- The students who take full advantage of the opportunities that our language programs offer graduate from Messiah with a desirable asset that can set them apart in the job market. Having internalized another language by means of deep integration in another setting, they have cultivated the ability to shift between cultures as an “insider” to both. All of the educators in the Department of Modern Languages have developed this ability as well, and we are passionate about fostering the skills that enable global engagement and intercultural mediation.
- Another distinctive of our program is that we encourage our students to passionately embrace their own fundamental commitments even as they acknowledge global others as an embodiment of our Creator. Many of our students engage so deeply with their other culture that they develop a native-like capacity to identify with the people formed in that other setting. But this does not mean that they forsake their own cultural identity in order to become an insider elsewhere (as if it were possible to shed all traces of origin). Instead they become aware of the potential benefit that the sojourner can bring to the host culture by contributing the gift of an outside perspective. We believe that constructive engagement of this type is mutually beneficial.