Give to the Modern Languages & Literatures Endowed Study Abroad Scholarship

Established to encourage and assist language students to study abroad and gain life experience in the language they are studying at Grand Valley.



Why study foreign language?

Why language? Language is considered a critical part of a liberal arts education. Part of Grand Valley State University's vision and strategic priorities are to "inspire and equip students to be active life-long learners and global citizens" and to require global learning of all undergraduate majors. This does not mean that we expect all students to become fluent, but instead to have exposure to a second language and culture, which in turn leads to practical language skills. The Modern Languages and Literatures Department's language courses offer not just the chance to study a language, but to actively engage with another culture on its own terms. 

Multiple studies link the benefits of language learning to: 

  • enhanced cognitive ability and flexibility
  • delaying mental effects of aging
  • empathy and effective interpersonal skills
  • improved learning outcomes in other subjects

The following professions are seeing an increased need for language skills:

  • Business
  • Nursing
  • Engineering and other STEM fields
  • National Security and other government positions

Check out our majorsminors, and other language courses. Explore further reading on the importance of learning a foreign language.

Alumni Highlights

Holly Henrickson, Spanish, BA Spanish-Secondary Education, 2008 Spotlight

Holly Henrickson, Spanish, BA Spanish-Secondary Education, 2008

After teaching foreign language for six years she took a job as Director of International Sales for an archery manufacturer. Her job involves attending trade shows in Europe and Canada and corresponding daily with customers in French and Spanish.

Sarah Kuklish, Spanish, BS Biopsychology, 2011 Spotlight

Sarah Kuklish, Spanish, BS Biopsychology, 2011

She is currently working as a pediatric physical therapist at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis where she is able to use her Spanish education daily with a diverse patient population.

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