TWU introduces new major in European Studies

Langley, British Columbia—When Trinity Western University Professor Kelsey Haskett visited France this summer after being away for four years, she saw, first-hand, the country’s complete change in currency from French francs to euros. And this change was just one of the recent European initiatives that made Haskett realize the timeliness of TWU’s newly launched degree program. This fall, TWU will offer a Bachelor of Arts in European Studies, increasing the number of undergraduate degrees that TWU offers from 34 to 35.

“I think it’s necessary to have a global perspective in order to understand the direction that the world is going,” says Haskett, who holds a PhD in French literature from Laval University in Quebec, and who will co-ordinate the program. “And the political and economic union that is taking place in Europe now is making Europe a very significant force.”

The European Studies major will include three streams. The language stream will include a concentration of studies in European languages, such as French, German, Russian or Spanish. The history stream will focus on pre-modern and modern European history. And the literature and fine arts stream will include courses in art, drama, music and English literature.

“There are a variety of things that students could do with this kind of a major,” says Haskett, who is also a professor of French and co-ordinates TWU’s Modern Languages program. “Because Europe has had such a major influence on our North American civilization, I think that international organizations can use people with a very good understanding of European culture and civilization.”

“And for someone who wants to teach in Europe, either in English or in the language of the country, it would be beneficial to have an understanding of the whole culture in Europe,” she adds.

Various TWU faculty members, who are experts in European languages, European history, and European culture and arts, will teach courses in the new degree program.

“We have faculty from Germany, France, and the Ukraine, and we’ve just brought on a new full-time Spanish professor,” says Haskett. “With those languages and then with strong scholars in history, such as Dr. John Klassen who’s an expert in European civilization, we’re well prepared to lead students in this area.”

As a part of the program, students will have the opportunity to study abroad with TWU’s travel studies courses. This year, TWU launched a new course that took more than 20 students to Rome and Geneva where they studied humanitarianism, ecumenism and the global community. Other Trinity Western travel studies courses in Europe include a fine arts course in London, England, and the Irish Studies Program which takes students to study the peace and reconciliation process in England, Ireland and Northern Ireland. New travel studies courses are being planned to Germany and France.

“We’ve designed this program to prepare students to be leaders on an international level,” says Haskett. “And we’re working together to equip students to make significant contributions in a world that’s changing rapidly.”

TWU will also offer a new language class in Japanese this year, in addition to language classes available in French, German, Russian and Spanish.

Trinity Western University, located in Langley, B.C., is a not-for-profit Christian liberal arts university enrolling over 3,000 students this year. With a broad-based, liberal arts and sciences curriculum, the University offers undergraduate degrees in 35 major areas ranging from business, education and computer science to biology and nursing, and 12 graduate degrees including counselling psychology, theology and administrative leadership.

Last Updated: 2007-09-26