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Say it in any tongue: 10 creative foreign language department websites

Maybe you've been thinking about learning another language, but need a little push. The 10 websites listed below may lead you to a particular school or even to sign up for a course in a foreign language or take a step further and declare a linguistic major. These sites were chosen for the diverse information they provide (think classes, culture, events and special programs) as well as the level of detail they offer about how students can be involved in foreign language opportunities and activities on campus. All 10 websites are hosted by the foreign language departments of their schools and have been listed for you in a convenient, alphabetical (Roman alphabet, of course) order.

World Language Immersion: 10 foreign language websites

  • Auburn University -- Department of Foreign Languages & Literatures: Discover the 25 reasons to study a foreign language on this website: that a foreign language can help enhance your memory and improve your analysis, communication and problem-solving skills is on the list. Explore the website and you'll discover other ways foreign language can be advantageous when you actually live on campus (and are not exploring your studies abroad): there are memberships in language honor societies, opportunities for business-focused studies and internships, and finally, conversation clubs that meet, yes, in trattorias and ale houses.
  • Colorado State University -- Department of Foreign Languages & Literatures: Explore the reasons for taking various foreign language classes ranging from Arabic to French to Russian and Latin at CSU. To motivate you further, the site lists potential foreign-language related opportunities worldwide, like organizations in need of Arabic speakers. Dip your toes into the art and history of other lands, such as Chinese fables, dragon dancing or calligraphy and gain specialized training for language teachers or real-world experience working with Spanish-speaking students in the community.
  • Dartmouth College -- Department of Spanish and Portuguese: Choose from beginning language classes, advanced seminars, individual or honors studies, and overseas programs. Spanish and Portuguese traditions enrich numerous countries around the globe as well as the U.S. Hispanic and Lusophone (Portuguese-speaking) communities. La Casa, an academic house with living accommodations for up to 10, offers an environment focused on Spanish and Portuguese cultures and languages, with events that could include videos, cooking classes or fiestas.
  • Gonzaga University -- Department of Modern Languages & Literature: Pick an Asian or European language and enjoy classes in conversation, literature and culture with some help from videos and interactive computer programs. Visit the Unity Multicultural Education Center dedicated to intercultural development. Blogs trace the adventures of "Zags" in places like Zambia or Turkey. Study abroad programs span the continents and could even include islands in the Caribbean.
  • Kennesaw State University -- Department of Foreign Languages: From your classroom in the greater Atlanta area, your mind can take a linguistic journey to Europe, Asia or the Middle East. The wide-ranging curriculum of a B.A. in Modern Language and Culture or minor in any number of languages could include Korean, Arabic or Turkish. Study French-speaking cultures around the world, special techniques for teaching foreign languages or applied business courses focused on commercial vocabulary. Photo and essay contests let students share their adventures in other countries.
  • Lewis & Clark College -- Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures: Like the explorers of the past, language students discover unfamiliar places and peoples. Lewis & Clark proposes that learning languages can open your mind, broaden your sense of culture and history, and give you an edge in a global society. You could even get published in Polyglot Magazine, which is run by language-loving students. Study abroad programs encompass several countries, with the option of Francophone studies in Senegal.
  • North Carolina State University -- Department of Foreign Languages & Literatures: NC State University has taught foreign languages since 1896; as of 2012, curricular choices include Arabic, Persian (Farsi), Portuguese or Hindi-Urdu studies, not to mention classical languages. For the immersion approach, the summer intensive courses are open to students from other states. Study practical applications of language in tourism, business, medicine or teaching. Check out the technology center's tutorials or the campus talks on topics like language diversity and Hispanic linguistics.
  • Purdue University -- The School of Languages & Cultures (formerly known as the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures): Languages introduce you to past and present cultures beyond your own. Pick from classes like Ancient Greek, Biblical or Modern Hebrew, Italian, Japanese and Russian. Courses for heritage speakers target students who have a background in Chinese and Spanish. Broaden your skills by combining a foreign language with another major. Graduate students investigate advanced literature and linguistics, as well as second language acquisition.
  • University of New Mexico -- Department of Foreign Languages & Literatures: This site serves up a broad menu of languages: from Arabic to Chinese, from ancient to modern. Find information on language tutors or the Language Learning Center, which offers tech support for your studies. Get the schedule for meetups, club activities or discussions comparing literatures and cultures. UNM also offers Spanish as a heritage language or a second language.
  • The University of Toledo -- Department of Foreign Languages: More reasons to study foreign languages! For example, did you know German is a key business language in parts of Asia? Online photos can introduce you to a professor or "sensei" for the class of your choice. Look into extracurricular activities like clubs, honor societies, film festivals, culinary events and coffee gatherings. Investigate programs that combine languages and international business. And for the hard-core linguists, Toledo offers graduate studies.

These websites can help you make up your mind to sign up for a foreign language course next semester -- or dive even deeper into a major or minor in the field.