Our Language Programs


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.

Why study language video

Announcements

GVSU Celebrates Languages Spotlight

GVSU Celebrates Languages

Please join us! Everyone is welcome; no language experience necessary.

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Alumni Highlights

Adam Cuthbert, Japanese, BFA Music Composition, 2010 Spotlight

Adam Cuthbert, Japanese, BFA Music Composition, 2010

Having fallen in love with Tokyo's urban expanse during his semester abroad through the Padnos International Center, Adam Cuthbert moved to New York City (America's next-best thing) after graduating from GVSU's music program.

Ellyanne Rosenthal, German, BA German & International Relations, 2011 Spotlight

Ellyanne Rosenthal, German, BA German & International Relations, 2011

During her two study abroad semesters in Schwäbisch Gmünd (near Stuttgart) in 2009 & 2010, the German language came to life for Elly. She lived with a host family in 2009, who inspired her to really improve her German.

Ryan Grabijas, German, BA & BS German & Hospitality and Tourism Management, 2016 Spotlight

Ryan Grabijas, German, BA & BS German & Hospitality and Tourism Management, 2016

After graduating in April 2016, Ryan spent the summer working as a German language instructor at Concordia Language Villages in Bemidji, Minnesota, and then as a hiking guide in the Canadian Rockies for German-speaking tourists.

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Events

German Reading Circle Event Spotlight

German Reading Circle Event

German Reading Circle. Reading German Literature. Allow someone to practice their language skills in the LRC on November 6th 2023

GVSU Celebrates Languages Spotlight

GVSU Celebrates Languages

Please join us! Everyone is welcome; no language experience necessary.

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A Department of Liberal Arts and Sciences



Page last modified June 7, 2022