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Ours is a world in which all types of formal and informal interaction between peoples of varied backgrounds and languages is increasingly possible and important. During this era of rapid globalization, more than ever before, everyone can beneﬁt from the vital skills of languages, cultural knowledge, and global competency. In the Doctrine and Covenants we are counseled to learn "of things which are at home [and] things which are abroad: the wars and the perplexities of the nations, and the judgments which are on the land; and a knowledge also of countries and of kingdoms-that ye may be prepared in all things when I shall send you again to magnify the calling whereunto I have called you, and the mission with which I have commissioned you" (Doctrine and Covenants 88:79-80). We are further counseled in the 90th Section to "study and learn, and become acquainted with all good books, and with languages, tongues, and people" (Doctrine and Covenants 90:15).
The purpose of the International Studies program (major, minor, and cluster) is to provide an avenue for students wishing to maximize the opportunity for linguistic and international competence while developing a disciplinary specialty that would allow them to enter the workforce directly or to prepare them for graduate school in a number of different disciplines or professions.
This degree is unique in its modular structure, including a core in Economics, History, Geography, and Political Science, area studies in culture, and the flexibility to choose a minor or clusters. Students must demonstrate language proficiency at the third-year level. Students may also take a minor or cluster in International Studies.
The Department of Languages and International Studies at BYU-Idaho helps students to build speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills, as well as cultural awareness, in five languages from the beginning to advanced level (Chinese, French, German, Russian, and Spanish).
Students majoring in other disciplines often increase their future career opportunities by gaining a working knowledge of a foreign language and broadening their cultural horizons.