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
Angel moved to Ulsan, South Korea, where she is currently working as an English teacher. She is actively developing strategies for language-acquisition that resemble those utilized by her previous instructors, and implementing them in her own classroom.
During the 3.5 years Jillian spent in GVSU, she studied abroad for a semester in Mexico and summer in India. She is trilingual (English, Spanish, and Hindi all at the native level). Jillian greatly benefited from studying abroad and going to GVSU.
She has found many more opportunities to be available to her with foreign language experience, including being able to work on international law, and she has been able to form more powerful connections with her clients.