My lovely language students/graduates... Watch

PKU_Research007
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Then I stand corrected, teh only ones I kow are from SOAS here in China and even with that 15 hours a week there is a reason why they have very low employability rates among the "top" british unis in east asia in general. In America there are two different types ,The language degrees are pure language study such as learning the actual langauge than application of it by reading famous literary works of the language and modern stuff. In America Area Studies means taking 2 languages of the region to advanced level that usually means 4th or 5th year of the language plus time abroiad and i guess you wouldcall them modules. But from a CV perspective an Area Studies degree sounds better than a language degree just because of that assumption that I had too that a lot of HR might have.
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Enoch.
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(Original post by PKU_Research007)
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I am aware of all that, but I am not asking for employment in the USA. Graduate schemes here care more of what you gain with your degree. Experience and interneships are more important than a degree alone. That is why you see English or History graduates in banking.


(Original post by Rascacielos)
Of course. Studying a language doesn't mean you have to go into teaching/interpreting/translating - the typical jobs you'd associate with a language grad. Having a language degree opens so many doors and you'll be highly sought after given so few people speak languages proficiently nowadays. You could definitely go into finance (although you'd probably have to do further qualifications) or Law, for example. Have a Google for "language graduate careers" and I'm sure you'll find hundreds of options.

Maybe consider taking further modules in other areas, like accounting, at SOAS if there's that option - it'll give you a taste of a new academic discipline and will look good on your CV if you decide to go down that route.
Yes, I think I will take some modules in pure economics. Thank you for your post :grin:
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miniteen
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(Original post by Anatheme)
I'm not sure if you know what a language degree involves, in the UK, but what you describe is exactly what we do. You can pick modules in history, linguistics, religion, politics, culture, literature, as well as having the obvious language studies, it's not like we spend 15h a week learning about the grammar of a language (on second thoughts, silly SOAS does, but others do require you to study other subjects related to your language).
(Original post by PKU_Research007)
Then I stand corrected, teh only ones I kow are from SOAS here in China and even with that 15 hours a week there is a reason why they have very low employability rates among the "top" british unis in east asia in general. In America there are two different types ,The language degrees are pure language study such as learning the actual langauge than application of it by reading famous literary works of the language and modern stuff. In America Area Studies means taking 2 languages of the region to advanced level that usually means 4th or 5th year of the language plus time abroiad and i guess you wouldcall them modules. But from a CV perspective an Area Studies degree sounds better than a language degree just because of that assumption that I had too that a lot of HR might have.
It would be nice if you guys actually knew what you were talking about before judging something you obviously don't have a clue about.
Anatheme, I thought you were better than that. But PKU, you don't surprise me in the least.

At SOAS, although you have close to 15 hours (it's actually only 12) of language study a week, you also have other modules, like History, Culture courses, Literature (modern and classical), media studies courses etc. which are compulsory. So although you probably don't get as deep an understanding of the area of study as you would at Oxbridge (which is less language-focused), you do get taught a substantial amount about the area.
Also, SOAS is the only university in the UK with as much choice when it comes to courses. PKU_research, I'd advise you to look more closely at things before labeling them. SOAS is the only university where you can do all Putonghua (mandarin), Minnanhua (dialect of the south) and Guandonghua (Cantonese). You are not forced to do a second language, but you are definitely encouraged to do one. You are also forced to learn classical Chinese as well for the first year (if you are a double major) or 3 years (if you are a full BA Chinese major.)

SOAS has different kinds of people. Some people who work loads, and are found in the library, others who don't and scrape a pass or whatever. PKU_Research, all you seem to know is the crass, and you judge SOAS for the few (max. 15) individuals you actually met, when there are more than 60 SOAS people who graduate with a BA Chinese degree each year.
There is a reason why SOAS routinely wins the Chinese Bridge Competition. And btw, we do compete against american universities in that competition.

(Original post by ussumane)
I am aware of all that, but I am not asking for employment in the USA. Graduate schemes here care more of what you gain with your degree. Experience and interneships are more important than a degree alone. That is why you see English or History graduates in banking.

Yes, I think I will take some modules in pure economics. Thank you for your post :grin:
Being a double major, you won't get much chance to do floaters out of the department. I'd advise you to either drop one of the two majors and do the language at the language center, switch Korean to an economics major, or do stuff over the summers in other fields.
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Anatheme
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(Original post by miniteen)
It would be nice if you guys actually knew what you were talking about before judging something you obviously don't have a clue about.
Anatheme, I thought you were better than that. But PKU, you don't surprise me in the least.
The Arabicists I was in Damascus with all said they had 16h/week of Arabic language, and that it was worth three fourth of their degree. Maybe your programme is different, or they were lying. Now I'm afraid to say it does not exactly compare to the degree programme at Manchester, Exeter or Durham where you do around 7h of Arabic a week (that's only one module at other universities, not 3), and also have three or four other modules about the culture, the history, the politics of whatever language you're doing. You focus on the language at SOAS, it's more balanced elsewhere, which was exactly my point in the first place, and I do find your being patronising surprising when we're saying the same thing: that you don't do as much culture as other universities do.
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miniteen
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(Original post by Anatheme)
The Arabicists I was in Damascus with all said they had 16h/week of Arabic language, and that it was worth three fourth of their degree. Maybe your programme is different, or they were lying. Now I'm afraid to say it does not exactly compare to the degree programme at Manchester, Exeter or Durham where you do around 7h of Arabic a week (that's only one module at other universities, not 3), and also have three or four other modules about the culture, the history, the politics of whatever language you're doing. You focus on the language at SOAS, it's more balanced elsewhere, which was exactly my point in the first place, and I do find your being patronising surprising when we're saying the same thing: that you don't do as much culture as other universities do.
I'm sorry, I don't mean to be patronizing, but you seemed to be saying we only did language. That's far from the case. The thing is at SOAS you are given the choice to either focus on language, or go into other fields. I'm not on an expert on the Arabic department, so maybe it's different from the Chinese department, but that's the case in the Chinese and Japanese/Korean departments.
But language definitely does not count for three fourths of our degree. That's a huge exaggeration. In 1st year, two of the modules are language (a total of 12 hours), 1 is culture/history related (3-4 hours a week), and the last depends on what you want to specialize in. With BA Chinese, it's classical Chinese (4 hours a week), which isn't the same as modern Chinese. In the 3rd year, it's one language module, one culture related module, and one classical chinese module, the last being a floater that you can take in any department. People tend to do another language here. And in the 4th year, it's the dissertation (1 module), and 2 modules within the dept (with a choice between language, literature, media, classical, and chinese dialects), and a floater in whatever dept you want.
So to say that our degree is mostly language... :/ That's a huge over-statement.
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PKU_Research007
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Chinese bridge is NOT a test of someones Chinese prowess a pre practiced routine means nothing. Tell you what if you can give a spontaneous presentation at a legit forum in good Chinese that's the test. I've met bridge winners their actually spoken and usage of Chinese is totally artificial but thanx for trying. It's that attitude that's the reason soas is never invites to the multiple uni alumni events in Beijing. Knowing the presidents from most of the alum societies that false sense of superiority does not fly well.
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miniteen
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(Original post by PKU_Research007)
Chinese bridge is NOT a test of someones Chinese prowess a pre practiced routine means nothing. Tell you what if you can give a spontaneous presentation at a legit forum in good Chinese that's the test. I've met bridge winners their actually spoken and usage of Chinese is totally artificial but thanx for trying. It's that attitude that's the reason soas is never invites to the multiple uni alumni events in Beijing. Knowing the presidents from most of the alum societies that false sense of superiority does not fly well.
You talk about pretention, hum, excuse me?:teehee:
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Enoch.
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anyone else? Its been awhile, hasn't it?
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miniteen
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You can PM me if you want. I'm at SOAS studying Chinese and will be doing a floater in Japanese. I have the same career ambitions as you do.
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Tommles
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(Original post by ussumane)
anyone else? Its been awhile, hasn't it?
Me! I'm studying Japanese (just done 1st year), and I have the exact same aspirations as you. I have absolutely no desire whatsoever to teach a language, nor do I particularly want to go into translation.

I'd love to do finance/accountancy/possibly law or work for an MNC in Japan. Something tangential to my degree would be great - I'd love to use my language skills but I don't want that to be my only job.

I'm not sure how it is going to work for me re: internships and things, because in my penultimate year (which is when you apply for internships) I'll be on my year abroad in Japan, so I'm hardly going to be in a position to fly back and forth for interviews and such. Although I can't be the first language undergrad who has ever wanted to apply for an internship...

I don't think there was anything I could apply for in 1st year either, there are plenty of kind of 'taster weeks' but you had to be a 2nd year to apply if you were on a 4th year course, so I will look into that this year.
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PKU_Research007
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In this global job market unless you are a native speaker or have connections, it's nearly impossible to be anything but a drone in a mnc if you are a language major. Companies don't want to train onsite anymore.
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Anatheme
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(Original post by Tommles)
I'm not sure how it is going to work for me re: internships and things, because in my penultimate year (which is when you apply for internships) I'll be on my year abroad in Japan, so I'm hardly going to be in a position to fly back and forth for interviews and such. Although I can't be the first language undergrad who has ever wanted to apply for an internship...
A friend of mine did fly back and forth from Syria to London for internships interview. I'd expect Japan to be more expensive, though. Maybe you could ask them for an interview over Skype?
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Tommles
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(Original post by PKU_Research007)
In this global job market unless you are a native speaker or have connections, it's nearly impossible to be anything but a drone in a mnc if you are a language major. Companies don't want to train onsite anymore.
I'm going to be frank with you, I think we've already established that you know absolutely nothing about the UK jobs market or UK universities. Not really interested in your uninformed American point of view, I've heard it before - and the 'everything except Business and Medicine is a worthless major' point of view does not apply in the UK, it just doesn't. Your 'area studies' suggestion kind of said it all, because here those degrees are considered a bit of a joke.

(Original post by Anatheme)
A friend of mine did fly back and forth from Syria to London for internships interview. I'd expect Japan to be more expensive, though. Maybe you could ask them for an interview over Skype?
Oh right, yeah it's fine if you are in Spain or France - I'm surprised they flew back and forth from Syria! Still it's not that far compared to Japan. The cheapest flights from Japan are like £700 return. Yeah I could interview over Skype, thanks for the advice. Guess I'll cross that bridge if I come to it.
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PKU_Research007
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(Original post by Tommles)
I'm going to be frank with you, I think we've already established that you know absolutely nothing about the UK jobs market or UK universities. Not really interested in your uninformed American point of view, I've heard it before - and the 'everything except Business and Medicine is a worthless major' point of view does not apply in the UK, it just doesn't. Your 'area studies' suggestion kind of said it all, because here those degrees are considered a bit of a joke.
Its all wording. Our joke "East Asian" programs are a lot more renown for Asian language training then any program in the UK.
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miniteen
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(Original post by PKU_Research007)
Its all wording. Our joke "East Asian" programs are a lot more renown for Asian language training then any program in the UK.
Yeah. And they're fantastic. With the two years of "rounded education", and the specialization at the end of 2nd year, you do learn a lot of Chinese/Japanese during your degree. And one mustn't forget the great amount of time you spend abroad. How long? A summer? One semester? Surely, your uni can teach you more than the country itself could ever teach you. Right?

Lol.


They're not known for their quality your programs, but for the name of your university.
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Enoch.
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(Original post by Tommles)
Me! I'm studying Japanese (just done 1st year), and I have the exact same aspirations as you. I have absolutely no desire whatsoever to teach a language, nor do I particularly want to go into translation.

I'd love to do finance/accountancy/possibly law or work for an MNC in Japan. Something tangential to my degree would be great - I'd love to use my language skills but I don't want that to be my only job.

I'm not sure how it is going to work for me re: internships and things, because in my penultimate year (which is when you apply for internships) I'll be on my year abroad in Japan, so I'm hardly going to be in a position to fly back and forth for interviews and such. Although I can't be the first language undergrad who has ever wanted to apply for an internship...

I don't think there was anything I could apply for in 1st year either, there are plenty of kind of 'taster weeks' but you had to be a 2nd year to apply if you were on a 4th year course, so I will look into that this year.
OMG are you like, me in the future??? I'm exactly in the same situation, I might have to travel back and forth like Anatheme said if I get the monies

I guess I have to wait a year too then :/ What uni do you study at?
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Tommles
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(Original post by ussumane)
OMG are you like, me in the future??? I'm exactly in the same situation, I might have to travel back and forth like Anatheme said if I get the monies

I guess I have to wait a year too then :/ What uni do you study at?
Haha It's cool to hear someone with the same aspirations. I'm studying at Sheffield - you're going to SOAS aren't you?
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PKU_Research007
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(Original post by miniteen)
Yeah. And they're fantastic. With the two years of "rounded education", and the specialization at the end of 2nd year, you do learn a lot of Chinese/Japanese during your degree. And one mustn't forget the great amount of time you spend abroad. How long? A summer? One semester? Surely, your uni can teach you more than the country itself could ever teach you. Right?

Lol.


They're not known for their quality your programs, but for the name of your university.
First of all unlike all you students that think you understand the world, I've actually been out in the work force in Asia working for a local firm so I know what is going on. The fact I could write a full financial strategy report in Chinese and can give full presentations including Q & A in Chinese didn't impress HR when I interviewed for the job. I was competing against locals who yes could do the same. It was those other skills that I learned in a "rounded" education were what got me that nice position. So when I say learn another skill besides a language even if its outside of class its a good suggestion.

Second of all. What are you talking about???? The top programs for East Asia languages are in North America followed by National Australian University in you guessed it Australia. Having the ability to go abroad as long as you want and declare you major immediately with no "rounded education" kind of helps buddy. If you want to study Japanese at Columbia University per say You can spend 3 years at Waseda and still get a Columbia degree. The top schools in North America have much deeper roots in Asia which provide us with more opportunities than you can ever imagine. Rote memorization as used by most schools in Europe does not aid in language growth. And this isn't a noninformed opinion, this is someone who has participated in workshops for Chinese Language Teaching Methods in China and has met lecturers from Europe, Canada, North America. And fyi that "well rounded" education seems to serve us much better, the ability to speak chinese and japanese while still being able to do advanced mathematical calculations due to that "looked down upon" liberal arts education seems to make us more desirable in the workplace. If you are serious student of language instead of just smirking about how you are taking a specialized course please like at IUP, PIB, JHU/Nanjing, The Kyoto Consortium, IUP Japan, PII, and the Middlebury programs, yeah we dumb Americans can't learn us any asian languages at all because our "well rounded" education doesn't provide the resources to actually utilize these languages as a LANGUAGE, not an academic subject just found in textbooks.
BTW if your Chinese is anything like the other SOAS students I've had the horrid experience of to meet while in Beijing, wait a few years besides you try to work in the China markets....just some friendly advice.
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miniteen
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First of all unlike all you students that think you understand the world, I've actually been out in the work force in Asia working for a local firm so I know what is going on. The fact I could write a full financial strategy report in Chinese and can give full presentations including Q & A in Chinese didn't impress HR when I interviewed for the job. I was competing against locals who yes could do the same. It was those other skills that I learned in a "rounded" education were what got me that nice position. So when I say learn another skill besides a language even if its outside of class its a good suggestion.

Second of all. What are you talking about???? The top programs for East Asia languages are in North America followed by National Australian University in you guessed it Australia. Having the ability to go abroad as long as you want and declare you major immediately with no "rounded education" kind of helps buddy. If you want to study Japanese at Columbia University per say You can spend 3 years at Waseda and still get a Columbia degree. The top schools in North America have much deeper roots in Asia which provide us with more opportunities than you can ever imagine. Rote memorization as used by most schools in Europe does not aid in language growth. And this isn't a noninformed opinion, this is someone who has participated in workshops for Chinese Language Teaching Methods in China and has met lecturers from Europe, Canada, North America. And fyi that "well rounded" education seems to serve us much better, the ability to speak chinese and japanese while still being able to do advanced mathematical calculations due to that "looked down upon" liberal arts education seems to make us more desirable in the workplace. If you are serious student of language instead of just smirking about how you are taking a specialized course please like at IUP, PIB, JHU/Nanjing, The Kyoto Consortium, IUP Japan, PII, and the Middlebury programs, yeah we dumb Americans can't learn us any asian languages at all because our "well rounded" education doesn't provide the resources to actually utilize these languages as a LANGUAGE, not an academic subject just found in textbooks.
BTW if your Chinese is anything like the other SOAS students I've had the horrid experience of to meet while in Beijing, wait a few years besides you try to work in the China markets....just some friendly advice.
Idiot... You think UK students have not worked before? I just finished an internship, working fully in Chinese with Chinese people in the South of China. It was a micro-finance company, and they didn't need english, so I was also doing a job a Chinese speaker could do. And yet I'm only entering 3rd year.

The simple fact that you can speak Chinese as a foreigner impresses the Chinese. Stop giving people such wrong impressions about China.

What are you talking about? If the best programs were seriously in America or Australia, Australians and Americans would stop coming to SOAS altogether to learn languages. You're just blinded by your personal pretension, don't kid yourself.

You cannot go abroad as long as you want in the States. I did go to Barnard for example, to see what it was like. One semester, aka 6 months maximum, and if you were really lucky maybe a full year in the country where you are to speak the language. And even if what you say is true (which I know full well isn't) it wouldn't hold up to the rest: you did talk about that 'round education' you get in the States. Where does that go when you go abroad? And if you spend so much time abroad, what is the point of going to the States? Just the name on your CV? Yeah, exactly what I said in my last post.

Having learned 6 languages in my life, and other bits and pieces here and there of another 4, you'd think I would be well informed about learning a language. But dude here seems to think not. Go figure. :cool:
Language learning is rote memorization, especially for vocabulary. And that is the biggest part of a language. I don't see how you can argue otherwise? Accent? Watch TV, speak to people, listen to the language. Grammar? Memorization and practice.

You cannot just be thrown into the language out of nowhere. You need to learn it first, then you can start working in it. Otherwise you don't learn anything, or you learn it wrong, and you give up because it's too hard. Baby steps first.

And stop being so arrogant. But yes, my Chinese is actually probably not like other SOAS students.
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PKU_Research007
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Congratulations you're what, the 1,000,000th college student that entered some random micro finance "internship" in CHina. Every single westerner that I interviewed for my position must have had that on their cv and once again its a joke. Once again you are incorrect. My own alma mater allowed for 2 years abroad. So miniteen stop talking up the arse and listen to grownups. An internship is NOT a job. Once its over its something nice and shiny to put on a CV. You learned 6 languages....so you didnt master any of them. Jack of all trades master of none. Hint instead of trying to speak as many languages as possible how about MASTERING them. XUE DAODI
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