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.

View More Announcements

Alumni Highlights

Deb Weststrate, Spanish, BFA & BA Graphic Design & Spanish, 2011 Spotlight

Deb Weststrate, Spanish, BFA & BA Graphic Design & Spanish, 2011

Deb believes learning a foreign language has opened up many doors for her to experience life from new perspectives, and continues to allow for friendships and connections that would have otherwise not been possible.

Stephanie Tanis, German, BS Biomedical Science & German, 2017 Spotlight

Stephanie Tanis, German, BS Biomedical Science & German, 2017

"Without the great professors in the GVSU German Department, I wouldn't have had the necessary language and cultural skills to start my scientific career in Germany!"

Rick Rossow, Russian, BA Russian Studies Spotlight

Rick Rossow, Russian, BA Russian Studies

Richard Rossow (Rick) is a senior adviser and holds the Wadhwani Chair in U.S.-India Policy Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a prominent think tank in Washington, DC.

View More Alumni Highlights

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.

View More Events

A Department of Liberal Arts and Sciences



Page last modified June 7, 2022