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International Economics & Cultural Affairs

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About our Program

The International Economics and Cultural Affairs (IECA) concentration is an interdisciplinary major program that combines study of a world language and culture with internationally focused courses in economics, geography, history, and political science. Students select a regional emphasis (East Asia, Europe, or Latin America) which, in turn, determines the specific courses and language study the student will undertake.

Contact

Dr. Debra Ames
Department of World Languages and Cultures
Email: debra.ames@valpo.edu
Phone: 219.464.5102

The IECA major is distinct from a major in international business because it is designed to prepare students for a variety of careers, from international commerce and banking to policy design and government service. It helps students to understand a particular region in all its complexity — cultural, political, and economic. If students want to combine their talent for world languages and appreciation of things international with a mix of career-oriented courses, IECA might be the major for them. Students majoring in IECA improve their linguistic fluency and cultural familiarity by studying in another country and participating in an internship or cooperative education experience while there. All IECA seniors do a required research project on a topic of international importance; past themes have included human rights, globalization, security and human mobility. Potential employers seek individuals who can function abroad and are more apt to give preference to those who have already had study or work experience overseas.

Program Highlights
  • International Economics and Cultural Affairs is one of the interdisciplinary concentrations in the Global Studies major housed in the Department of World Languages and Cultures.
  • It prepares students for internationally-focused careers in a variety of areas, from business and banking to policy development, government service, law, international relations, as well as NGOs dedicated to humanitarian, educational and cultural services.
  • A unique package of classes combines  economics, history, politics, and geography with the  study of a world language and culture. The curriculum provides students with a heightened sense of intercultural sensitivity, some level of proficiency in a second language, significant knowledge of a particular world region (Europe, East Asia or Latin America), and the skills necessary to understand international issues elsewhere.
  • Students selecting the IECA track are encouraged to improve their linguistic fluency and cultural familiarity by studying abroad and participating in an appropriate internship while there.
  • All seniors complete an in-depth research project on a topic of international importance; past themes have included areas such human rights, globalization, security and human mobility.