Public Affairs, The California State University

Broadening Language and Cultural Horizons

By Stephanie Thara

Langue. Idioma. Lingua. Sprache. Language.

Whether it’s in French, Spanish, Italian, German or English, the definition of “language” is universal: the method of communicating with others. With approximately 7,000 languages spoken throughout the world, learning different languages can open the door to networking, collaborating and communicating with people from different walks of life.

The CSU offers a variety of foreign language programs that help prepare students for an increasingly globalized world. Throughout the 23 CSU campuses, scholars can learn languages such as Russian, Japanese, Chinese, Armenian, Spanish, Farsi, Hebrew, Korean, German, Punjabi, Italian and French. Additionally, students can gain in-depth insight into other cultures by earning degrees in African-American studies, Chicano studies, Latin American studies and American Indian/Native American studies.

The language and cultures programs offer challenging language, culture and literature courses that provide students with the necessary training to become proficient in a variety of highly skilled professional occupations. Students who graduate with a language degree have an advantage in careers such as international business, education, law enforcement, national security, travel and tourism, social work, management and medicine.

To help students achieve their international and intercultural goals, CSU campuses offer extensive services and programs including free language tutoring services, language centers equipped with multimedia equipment to enhance learning and cooperative programs with other universities that facilitate learning from a variety of experts.

CSU Northridge’s Cooperative Program in Foreign Languages and Literatures gives CSUN students the opportunity, without additional fees, to take courses in foreign languages not available on the campus but offered at University of California, Los Angeles.

CSU Monterey Bay hosts the Monterey Bay Foreign Language Project, where CSU Monterey Bay professors are among a team of experienced language professionals that provide on-going service trainings to increase the literacy of students in their desired target language.

CSU Long Beach maintains a state-of-the-art digital multimedia computer language lab where the instructor can operate in concert with students to provide an interactive and powerful new dimension to language learning.

Campuses also encourage students to study abroad to broaden their cultural horizon and encourage personal growth. CSU campuses maintain offices staffed by international studies’ experts who help students plan their overseas experience on a step-by-step basis. In addition to choosing from the variety of countries available in the study aboard programs at each campus, students have the option to explore even more countries through CSU International Programs, the system-wide study abroad program.