Foreign Language and International Trade | LCIT | SIU

Southern Illinois University



College of Liberal Arts

Walking students

Foreign Language and International Trade

Foreign Language and International Trade (FLIT) is a B.A. program offered by the College of Liberal Arts in cooperation with the College of Business. It is for students whose interests include both foreign language and commercial studies and who would like to work in the international business community. FLIT graduates receive a balanced education, making them qualified for employment in an internationally-oriented business or organization, or within an international branch of state, federal, or multi-national government.

The program is divided into four main components, CoLA, business, internship, and languages.


The acquisition of language skills can be accelerated and is strongly encouraged in two ways:

  1. Study Abroad. In order to facilitate the acquisition of language skills and understanding of the contemporary culture, students are encouraged to do a study abroad in a country where they might end up serving their internship. Many times, a study abroad can fit into a summer semester and help advance the student one year’s worth of language classes.
  2. Language and Cultural Programs. Many programs are offered through Languages, Cultures, and International Trade as well as through the Center for International Education that can help students further their language and culture studies. For example, one of the most popular ways to practice a foreign language is to meet at one of the “language tables.”  Each foreign language hosts a conversational “table” that serves as an opportunity to practice your language of study and meet others who also study or natively speak that language.


Appropriate specialty areas are established by a three-step process. Although none of these steps is mandatory, they are strongly encouraged.

  1. Taking at least two relevant, additional courses in the area of specialization.
  2. Seeking summer or part-time employment in the specialization area. Any entry-level position which will provide exposure to the area is appropriate.
  3. Conducting a limited research project on the specialization area. In some cases this may be done under supervision as a term paper in the business language course.


It is strongly recommended that to enhance both internship placement and employability in a competitive job market, students choose, in consultation with CoLA Advisor, Thomas Price, an area of special emphasis within the business side of the program.The options for an area of specialization are unlimited–tourism, agribusiness, aviation management, banking, international hotel management, international marketing, accounting, and computer science are a few that students have chosen in the past. Students planning to use the FLIT degree as a basis for international public service, should have political science together with an appropriate area studies focus as the basis for their specialization.