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World Languages & Cultures | Students
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Information For Students

To schedule an appointment:
Login to AccessPlus, go to the “Student” tab, then select “ISU Appointment.”
For “Location & Adviser,” enter “Ruxandra Looft” or “Flor Romero de Slowing” to schedule a meeting with your assigned adviser.



If you would like to meet with one of our advisers with a quick question or concern, feel free to stop by their walk-in office hours listed below. No appointment necessary!

Photo of Ruxandra Looft
Picture of Flor Romero-Slowing

About Ruxandra

Dr. Ruxandra (Sandra) Looft holds a PhD in German and Comparative Literature from Washington University in St. Louis. She is originally from Romania and has spent part of her childhood in Germany and Canada before coming to the US. As part of her undergraduate and graduate work, she has studied abroad in Salzburg, Austria; Tours, France; and Munich, Germany. Here, you can read more about her background in language study and how she came to advising.

About Flor

Flor Romero de Slowing is academic adviser for World Languages and Cultures. She received her Nutrition degree from the University of San Carlos de Guatemala in 2001 and a M.S. in International Development from Iowa State in 2012. She has instructed Elementary and Intermediate Spanish courses at Iowa State. She has previously worked on college access programs focused on first generation minority students.

Ruxandra Looft

M, W | 10-11 |

Pearson 3220

Flor Romero-Slowing

M-W-F | 9-12|

Pearson 3230


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Ruxandra Looft, Ph.D.

Office: 3220 Pearson Hall

Phone: (515) 294-7570

Email: rmlooft@iastate.edu

Twitter: @advising_daily


Flor Romero-Slowing

Office: 3230 Pearson Hall

Phone: (515) 294-8988

Email: fslowing@iastate.edu

Students entering Iowa State should always consult the department about the proper foreign language course in which to enroll. A placement exam helps identify a student’s level of language competency in order to determine the academic course in which they should enroll. The department offers several options for placement exams.   These on-line exams are available to ISU students and prospective students only. Anyone else interested in taking or using the exam must contact WLC@IASTATE.EDU before doing so.  The exams may be taken on any computer with internet access via the button below.

Important: Upon completion of your placement test, please write down and print out your exact placement score. You cannot be placed correctly without this number. Consult with the academic advisors in World Languages and Cultures, Ruxandra Looft, 515-294-7570, or Flor Romero-Slowing, (515) 294-8988 for actual placement in a foreign language course at Iowa State.

Get out of Iowa for a while.

study abroad statistics

Every year WLC students travel abroad to study and to work.  The WLC abroad blog is a compilation of stories, pictures, and videos about what it’s like to live and learn abroad. Join us as we follow WLC students on their adventures abroad! Visit our international blog here!

Is your primary major in the the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Business, or Engineering?


Want to work globally?

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Check out the LCP Program!

All students taking part in an internship must complete the INTERNSHIP / CO-OP LEARNING CONTRACT (Link to PDF) with a faculty sponsor.

What is an internship?

An internship is supervised experiential learning which offers you the opportunity to work in a career related position part time while you complete your university studies. In order for a job to be considered an internship, it must meet the following three criteria:

1. The experience must be meaningful as related to your degree or subject area

2. You must be provided with supervision and training.

3. You must be provided with evaluation or feedback on your professional or skills development

How many hours a week must I work at my internship?

The internship experience required a student to work for a minimum of 4 weeks and a maximum of one semester. Students are required to work a minimum of 40 work hours for 1 credit; a minimum of 85 work hours for 2 credits; a minimum of 130 work hours for 3 credits During a semester this normally means working 8-12 hours a week.

Am I paid a salary as an intern?

Each employer is different in its salary policy for interns. Many internships are paid positions, particularly in the fields of computer science, technology, business, engineering, and MIS. However, in the fields of social services and education, many of the internships do not provide a salary. Internships abroad vary.

Can I receive academic credit for my internship experience?

You can receive academic credit for your internship experience if you complete a Learning Contract signed by you, your employer, your faculty sponsor, and the internship coordinator in WLC. The Learning Contract lists the tasks in which you will be involved on the job; stipulates what the learning objectives of your work experience are; and identifies the method of evaluation (e.g., keeping a journal, preparing a research paper, giving a presentation, etc.) agreed to by your faculty sponsor. At the end of your employment, your supervisor must submit to the university an assessment of your professional development. In addition to the Learning Contract, you must register and pay fees for the appropriate amount of academic credit (Chinese, French, German, Russian, Spanish 499), regardless of whether or not you are receiving a salary as part of the internship.



Only foreign language majors or minors with at least a 2.5 GPA and 9 credits at the 300 level in the corresponding language are eligible to enroll in Chinese, French, German, Russian, Spanish 499 or WLC 499.

What internships are available to me in the field of world languages and cultures? 

The availability of internships in foreign languages is growing, particularly in the translation and interpretation areas, in the field of social services and medicine, and other areas abroad. Spanish language skills continue to be in highest demand, but opportunity exists for students in Chinese, French, German, Russian, and Portuguese. Generally, students can earn internship experience and academic credit by enrolling in an internship as part of a study abroad program. For more information on how to combine study abroad with an internship, talk with a director of a program abroad in your language area.

How do I find out more about participating in an internship in world languages? 

Students may also seek out their own internship and work with a faculty internship coordinator. For more information about internship opportunities in foreign languages, speak one of the following internship coordinators and/or download the internship Learning Contract:


For Spanish contact Professor Chad M. Gasta, 3102 Pearson (gasta@iastate.edu / 294-0918).
For Chinese, French, German or Russian contact Professor Mark Rectanus, 3118 C Pearson. (mwr@iastate.edu / 294-4324)

The Language Studies Resource Center (LSRC) is your workspace here on campus! Whether you need a computer to write a paper, want to watch a Chinese movie in the original version, or use an iPad to study vocab – come and see us!

LSRC Hours

Fall and Spring Semester:

Monday – Thursday: 8am – 8pm

Friday:  8am – 5pm

Saturday: Closed

Sunday:  12pm – 5pm

Summer Semester:

Monday – Friday 8am – 4pm

Closed Saturday and Sunday

Note: The LSRC is closed during Winter Break, Spring Break and all University Holidays.


LSRC Main Phone


3142 Pearson Hall

Iowa State University and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences have put together four year plans that help students take a proactive approach toward completing an undergraduate degree in four years.

To learn more about Iowa State University’s Four Year Graduation Guarantee visit:

ISU Plan of Study

To see what a four year academic plan could look like with a WLC major visit:

WLC 4 Year Plan

WLC Alumni

Foreign Languages at Iowa State University were taught sporadically from the university’s inception. It was not until 1899 that the Department of Modern Languages was formed and foreign language study became a permanent part of the academic curriculum. In 1969 the department was renamed Department of Foreign Languages in order to allow for the teaching of Latin and Classical Greek. In 1977 the department name was changed to Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures to bring visibility to its dual curricular focus. On July 1, 2006, we became the Department of World Languages and Cultures to better encompass the scope of the department’s mission and responsibilities with regard to Iowa State University’s strategic plan. Since 1970, over 1100 students have graduated from the combined departments of Modern Languages and Foreign Languages and Literatures. We will continue to add to these numbers as the newly named Department of World Languages and Cultures. As a way to recognize the many and diverse achievements of our graduates, the department has established Distinguished Alumni Awards to be presented each fall during ISU Homecoming Week. The first awardees were recognized in 2004 at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Alumni Recognition Dinner. Nominations for the departmental Alumni Achievement Awards are accepted on a rolling basis. Please consider nominating someone you believe has made an impact in his or her profession.


Previous Award Recipients


Roy Salcedo (Spanish, 1998) WLC Distinguished Alumni Award


Donald D. Steiner (German, 1978) WLC Distinguished Alumni Award


Elizabeth K. Andre (Spanish, 1998) WLC Distinguished Alumni Award
Christopher Johanson, Classical Studies Alumni Achievement Award


Gene Lange, (German, 1969) WLC Distinguished Alumni Award
Blythe Bowman Proulx, Classical Studies Alumni Achievement Award


Ronald A. Schubert, (Spanish, 1967) WLC Distinguished Alumni Award
Warren H. Stine, Classical Studies Alumni Achievement Award


Madolyn Johnson, (Spanish, 1966) WLC Distinguished Alumni Award
David R. Jones, (Spanish, 1992) WLC Distinguished Alumni Award
Lisa M. Tetrault, (French, 1989) WLC Distinguished Alumni Award
Mark Ryerson, Classical Studies Alumni Achievement Award


Kimberly E. Contag, (Spanish, 1980) WLC Educational Achievement Award
Susan Sandholm Petersen, (German, 1973) WLC Educational Achievement Award
Christopher Sorensen, (French and German, 1991) WLC Professional Achievement Award
Paul D. Mitchell, Classical Studies Alumni Achievement Award


Sue Otto, (Spanish, 1969) WLC Professional Achievement Award
Christine Romans, (French, 1993) WLC Professional Achievement Award
Beth Vander Wilt, (Spanish, 1984) WLC Educational Achievement Award
Amy G. Thompson, Classical Studies Alumni Achievement Award


Beth Eilers, (French, 1987) FLL Alumni Educational Achievement Award
Frederick Schwink, (German, 1983) FLL Alumni Educational Achievement Award
Gary Stahl, (Spanish and International Studies, 1983) FLL Alumni Professional Achievement Award
Heather D. Schafroth, Classical Studies Alumni Achievement Award


Anne Bourdine (Russian, BA ’86) FLL Alumni Professional Achievement Award
Gene Larson (French, BA ’76) FLL Alumni Educational Achievement Award


Connecting with World Languages and Cultures @ Iowa State

There are many ways in which the graduates of our language programs can renew their connection with the faculty and students in World Languages and Cultures at Iowa State. Alumni are always welcome back to campus to visit with our faculty, to check out our new Language Studies Resource Center, or to meet with our students. Our undergraduate students benefit tremendously from interaction with our graduates as they seek out advice on combining academic majors, recommendations on study and work abroad, and first-hand information on graduate studies and career options.

If you would like to visit the Iowa State campus and share your academic or professional expertise with our students, please contact the department chair at 515-294-4046. We also welcome alumni assistance in identifying internship opportunities for our advanced undergraduates, establishing student scholarships, or supporting other departmental initiatives. We look forward to connecting with you again at Homecoming, during VEISHEA, or whenever your travels take you through Ames!

Any registered ISU student may attempt to earn credit for previous study of a foreign language by taking an exam for credit. Exams for credit are available in some elementary and intermediate foreign languages for a non-refundable fee of $100. Credits earned though a test-out exam are applied at the end of the semester following the one in which the test was taken. For example, credits earned through a test taken in the Fall semester will be applied at the end of the Spring semester.

French, German and Spanish

Students may take standardized CLEP exams in French, German and Spanish in order to earn first and/or second year foreign language credit (up to 16 credits). These exams are administered by ISU Testing Services located in 2062 Student Services Building. Call Testing Services directly to reserve a computer in advance: 515-294-5058. Each exam requires payment of a non-refundable fee of $100.



The Department of World Languages and Cultures offers credit by examination in elementary (101/102) courses in Latin. The exam is administered by the Department in the Language Studies Resource Center (LSRC), 3142 Pearson Hall.

Please check whether you qualify with the WLC advisers Ruxandra Looft (515-294-7570) or Flor Romero de Slowing (515-294-8988)  before registering for an exam-for-credit in Latin.


The Department of World Languages and Cultures offers credit by examination in elementary (101/012) and intermediate (201/202) courses in Chinese for non-native speakers of Chinese. The exam is administered by the Department in the Language Studies Resource Center (LSRC), 3142 Pearson Hall.


The Chinese Program uses the Avant STAMP 4S for this exam. Native speakers of Chinese are NOT allowed to take it. Please check whether you are qualified with the Chinese faculty and the WLC advisers Ruxandra Looft (515-294-7570) or Flor Romero de Slowing (515-294-8988)  before registering for an exam-for-credit in Chinese.

Students MUST come to 3102 Pearson Hall in order to register for the relevant examination.

All tests are standardized or approved examinations, each of which covers a full year of university-level study. Depending upon the score achieved, students may receive up to 8 credits in Latin and 16 credits in Chinese. Each exam requires payment of a non-refundable fee of $100.

Have a question?  Check out our most frequently asked questions:

Have a question?  Check out our most frequently asked questions:

Students who major in World Languages and Cultures follow diverse and unique career paths after graduation.


Watch a short interview with WLC alumna Emily Fifield (Spanish and International Studies, with minors in History and Women’s Studies, ’08) whose study abroad experience turned into an entrepreneurial business venture.


We’ll be using this space to share information and interviews on how a language and culture major can inform and enrich your life after graduation.

American Sign Language

American Sign Language Proficiency Interview (ASLPI)
The American Sign Language Proficiency Interview (ASLPI) is a holistic language evaluation used to determine global ASL proficiency. The basic precept in this type of evaluation is to find out through a face-to-face interview what an individual can do with the target language at a given point in time. The ASLPI is a 20-25 minute video recorded interactive dialogue between the examinee and the interviewer. The interview is rated by a team of evaluators and examinees are awarded an overall proficiency level on a 0-5 rating scale. Language proficiency evaluation was originally developed by the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) of the US Department of State and has been used by the government for decades. Adaptations to the language proficiency evaluation were made with respect to ASL and the ASLPI was born. The ASLPI is utilized by agencies, schools, universities, programs and employers.


Sign Language Proficiency Interview (SLPI)
The Sign Language Proficiency Interview (SLPI) involves a one-to-one conversation in sign language between an interviewer and candidate/interviewee. Interview content varies according to the background, job responsibilities, schooling, and other interests of each SLPI candidate/interviewee.

The SLPI was adapted by Drs. Bill Newell and Frank Caccamise from the Language/Oral Proficiency Interview (L/OPI), an interview technique for assessing spoken language communication skills. Just as the L/OPI may be used to assess a variety of spoken languages, the SLPI may be used to assess a variety of sign languages. When used to assess ASL skills the SLPI is labeled the SLPI:ASL. In its use by the US Peace Corps in assessing Kenyan Sign Language (KSL), it is labeled the SLPI:KSL.

SLPI interviews are recorded and subsequently rated independently by SLPI raters. The basis for ratings is the SLPI Rating Scale, a standard scale based on the sign language communication skills of highly skilled, knowledgeable native/native-like signers.

The goal of the SLPI is to assess how well people are able to use sign language for communication, and, as appropriate, to use this information to assist people in development of their sign language communication skills.

Classical Studies

National Latin Exam:
and see the following for college-level equivalencies:
“The National Latin Exam is offered to students on seven levels. On the Introduction to Latin, Latin I, Latin II, Latin III, Latin III/IV Prose, and Latin III/IV Poetry exams, there are questions on grammar, comprehension, mythology, derivatives, literature, Roman life, history, geography, oral Latin, and Latin in use in the modern world. The Latin V-VI exam contains two Latin passages as the basis for questions on grammar, comprehension, historical background, classical literature, and literary devices.
A syllabus for each exam level of the National Latin Exam is posted online. The NLE provides an objective, external check on how well an institution’s students are performing both within the institution and compared to other students at the same level across the country.” These exams are administered three times a year by teachers on scheduled dates.


The ACTFL Latin Interpretive Reading Assessment (ALIRA)
“The goal of ALIRA is to assess Interpretive Reading in Latin. ALIRA uses a wide variety of texts including shorter and longer texts from ancient Rome, authentic historical documents, and modern texts from today’s classical studies community.
ALIRA provides a performance rating within the Novice and Intermediate ranges. There are four gradations of Novice performance and five gradations of Intermediate performance. They are designated N-1 to N-4 and I-1 to I-5. The score reports provide an explanation of each score.” These exams are available three times a year.


The National Greek Exams
“The six examinations consist of five Attic Greek exams (Introduction, Beginning, Intermediate, Prose, Tragedy) and a Homeric Greek exam (Odyssey). The NGE enrolls thousands of students from high schools, colleges, and universities in the US and around the world.” Applications must be requested and exams administered by teachers, these are scheduled only one time each year.

Other Languages

Students wanting to demonstrate proficiency in a language not offered at Iowa State University, or for which we do not have an appropriate exam for credit, may take the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) exam. Information regarding the OPI exam, languages in which it is offered, and registration procedures can be obtained from Language Testing International. The OPI exam may be used to waive the LAS World Language Requirement for languages in which WLC does not offer an exam for credit, but students may not receive credit for successful completion of the OPI exam. Students who choose to take an OPI exam should consult with the Department of World Languages and Cultures, (515) 294-4046, before registering for the exam.