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How to get involved
Special Programs and Activities
The Department prides itself on providing a relaxed and stimulating atmosphere in which working and learning go hand in hand with socializing. Faculty and TAs have a good rapport with their students and many of our teachers are involved in extracurricular activities (see below). In many academic settings faculty and students work together as they collaborate on research or share their interests. The Department also enjoys informal get-togethers in a multi-lingual atmosphere. Language-related activities and cultural events contribute significantly to the learning experience of the student of modern languages. The location of Ohio University in a relatively small town with a rich natural setting provides ample opportunities for activities outside the classroom.
Students are encouraged to participate in the annual International Street Fair held in mid May and sponsored by the International Student Union (ISU. This is a day-long event featuring ethnic foods, traditional songs and dances, and other activities. Students from our department contribute to this very popular festival with food sampling booths, displays of traditional objects, and other types of informative exhibits.
“El día de los muertos,” the Mexican All Soul’s Day, is celebrated in the halls of Gordy on the 2nd floor between Oct. 30 and Nov. 2 each year with a decorative altar and photo display.The German section brings several other celebrations to life in Athens: Oktoberfest in the fall, Fasching (Carnival) during winter and Maifest (May Fest) in the spring.
The various language sections (French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish) hold weekly conversation hours that give students the opportunity to speak the languages with professors, native speakers, and other students in a relaxed, informal atmosphere. The meeting place may be the lounge of a dorm, a local café, or a nearby park. Students planning to study abroad attend these conversation hours as part of their preparation. Please look for postings in Gordy or ask at the front desk for times and places each semester.
National Language Honorary Societies
Eligible students may join various national honorary societies for languages and cultures. The following societies have chapters at Ohio University:
Delta Phi Alpha is a national German honorary whose purpose is to recognize the academic excellence of advanced German students from all majors and colleges within the university and to promote the study and appreciation of the language and cultures of the German-speaking areas. Activities have included free tutoring for beginning students and the organization of German festivals in Athens.
Sigma Delta Pi is a national Spanish honorary that focuses on the Hispanic world. At O.U. the organization sponsors cultural events such as “El día de los muertos.”
Phi Sigma Iota is an international honorary for Romance Languages. At Ohio University it serves as a club for our outstanding French students. Events include an annual dinner for members and inductees, participation in the international street fair, and tutoring for local high school students.
The Spanish section, in conjunction with the Spanish Club, La Organización de Latino América (OLA), and Latin American Studies holds an annual Coloquio de Primavera, to which authors and critics are invited in the spring semester. This series began in 1993 and has hosted various interdisciplinary talks that have included literature, linguistics, politics, telecommunications, women’s studies, geography and more.
The German, Russian, French, and Spanish language students organize separate film series each year. The series include both classics and latest releases, all in the original languages.
Other Clubs and Organizations
Slava, the Russian Culture Club is a student-run organization whose purpose is to promote and develop interest in Russia, its language, culture and heritage throughout the Ohio University community. In addition to sponsoring the Russian Conversation Table and the occasional Russian Film Series, Slava helps organize other lectures and events to promote discussion of Russia. A highlight of every semester is the Slava Russian dinner.
The Spanish Club sponsors and organizes various activities related to the Hispanic world, including trips to music and theater performances, dances, and other events.
Our ever-growing passion for study abroad now boasts 12 active programs in:
• Austria – Salzburg – German – spring semester
• Brazil – (non-OU program) contact OEA
• Canada – Quebec – French – summer quarter
• Ecuador – Cuenca – Spanish– fall, spring, and summer semesters
• Ecuador – Cuenca – TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) – summer semester
• France – Avignon – French – spring semester
• Italy – Florence – Italian – summer semester
• Mexico – Mérida – Spanish – spring semester
• Puerto Rico – Latin American Culture program – winter intersession
• Russia – Moscow – Russian – spring semester (even years)
• Spain – Toledo – Spanish – spring, and summer semesters
Ohio University students may also participate in programs sponsored by other universities with the assistance and coordination of the Study Abroad Office of the College of Arts and Sciences and the Center for International Studies.
A four-year program for exceptionally well-qualified students is offered in French and Spanish through the Honors Tutorial College. The student generally devotes two-thirds of his or her time to the major and one-third to related disciplines. Although students may take or audit any University course, most course work is done under the direction of tutors. An honors tutorial student submits a thesis in the final year, and usually spends one semester studying in one of the departmental centers abroad. Admission to this program is through the Honors Tutorial Program. Please look at program specifics at: General, French, Spanish
Teach French or Spanish in area elementary schools through our volunteer FLES program. You can also get internship credit for the experience if needed. With this program you will teach once or twice a week for about 20-30 minutes a class in the Athens and Alexander elementary schools. For more information, please contact Barb Reichenbach or Betsy Partyka