Please join us! Everyone is welcome; no language experience necessary.
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:
- Engineering and other STEM fields
- National Security and other government positions
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.
"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!"
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.