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  1. #1
    Senior Member ZiL's Avatar
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    Default Masters Program Decision (Languages)

    Alrighty, so I've been driving myself mental for over a year now imagining which subject I would be happiest studying long term. I applied to schools for each of the three subjects I studied at the university. Right now I've begun narrowing it down, and am thinking I will probably stay at the same university for a couple of years to do a master's with the intention of continuing on to a PhD somewhere else afterward. I am stuck between Spanish and German. I have been accepted to the Spanish program, and will be accepted to German probably this week.

    Can anyone tell me what they think or what they know? Also, as for funding, what would you say is an excellent offer? Right now I have offers for teaching assistantships and additional funding, but I was wondering what sort of stipend is considered good.

    Also, I know careers related to Spanish will be easier to find, but can anyone give me some thoughts about PhD study or later careers with a background in either language?

    I only have a little time to decide, so I am open to hearing everything right now.


    Thanks guys.
    ALL AROUND THE WORLD PEOPLE EATIN' GUMBO

  2. #2
    Striving for balance Little Linguist's Avatar
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    May I offer a suggestion? Apply for a Fulbright scholarship to the country that speaks the language you want to study. Why?

    a) You get a stipend for teaching English.
    b) Because you are teaching English, you have a great thing for your resume.
    c) You can travel and experience the country.
    d) You become fluent in the language and familiar with the culture.
    e) You have time to study in Europe, where education is a hell of a lot cheaper.
    f) Fulbright is a well-known organization and highly regarded.

    FYI: The job market is better in Germany in a lot of areas than Spain, depending on the area and the field, so I've heard.

    Just food for thought.

    If you want to stay in the States, ask yourself what your ultimate goal is. That will determine which language is better for you. And you also have to ask yourself what you enjoy more.

  3. #3
    Senior Member ZiL's Avatar
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    Well, for some more background information...

    My first major was anthropology, but our program started falling apart halfway through my finishing the major, so I don't have many anthro contacts or much hands-on experience in the realm of cultural fieldwork. I applied to 3 schools for anthro, but was rejected by 2 and am waiting on the 3rd. An alternative I always had in mind, was to do one of the languages, and see where it takes me. If I did Spanish, the goal would probably be to get a M.A., focusing as much on Latin America and indigenous/Spanish history as possible, and then applying later to PhD programs for anthro. Honestly, I never wanted to be the equivalent of an English teacher, so while I enjoy literature to some extent and am good at working with it, I don't want to have a pure literary focus. Literature with a good dose of cultural and historical research, sure. I am also rather sick of learning linguistic theories at the moment, at least Chomsky-based ones, not that it isn't interesting, but UG-based linguistics is often a curriculum option in language departments, and I'm not jiving on that.

    German, I began learning it in my freshman year and I've improved rapidly. I've always been interested in the country's history and it's relations with Polish neighbors and Jewish inhabitants. Though I said I don't want to become the equivalent of an English teacher, I do relate to German literature better, and I definitely see the crossover in ideas, philosophies, and ways of life from German culture to Western culture in general, particularly in the U.S. I find that German would be an excellent way to go for studying western society "anthropologically." Despite my lack of experience, I was accepted into one of the best German departments in the U.S. (but with funding news still pending), so study in this area appears to be within reach.

    Basically I want to do interdisciplinary research within culture areas, and either way I'm looking at shooting for a PhD.

    Like I said, I was accepted by both of the language departments at the school I am currently going to, with guaranteed funding, so at this point I may have to take one of these offers, and I am not unhappy about that. One offers about $4,000 more than the other, simply because they have more resources, and the other appears to allow more research freedom, because with a smaller staff, student work is not as regimented as in the other.

    I'm just rather stuck.

    And the Fulbright is an excellent idea. Naturally though, I was considering applying for it for this year, but I couldn't decide which language to do it in!
    ALL AROUND THE WORLD PEOPLE EATIN' GUMBO

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