Campus skyline

"Language is the very 'stuff of thought' . . . It is the palette from which we draw all the colors of our life, and people who speak multiple languages have a larger palette and richer set of colors to draw from than those who are monolingual."

-Anthony Jackson, Vice President for Education at the Asia Society

Studying a second language makes you smarter.

Speaking a foreign language improves the functionality of your brain by challenging it to recognize, negotiate meaning, and communicate in different language systems. This skill boosts your ability to negotiate meaning in other problem-solving tasks as well. -New York Times

Language study helps you gain a deeper understanding of different cultures.

"It is estimated that between half and three quarters of the world's population is bilingual to some degree. That's more than four billion people who understand that with different languages come different ways to interpret the world." Educator Jose Picardo, The Guardian 

Studying a second language opens worlds of career opportunity.

"In a globalized world, those who speak multiple languages . . . have a much better chance of finding meaningful employment. The ability to speak a modern language gives graduates a competitive edge over others as the demand for bilingual workers in the US continues to rise." -Inside Higher Education


The University of Vermont offers majors and minors in more languages than any other New England flagship institution. Whether you major or minor in a language at UVM, you will develop vital skills for your professional and personal future, including:

  • critical thinking skills
  • attention to detail in clarity of analysis and expression in writing and speaking
  • empathy and cross-cultural sensitivity.

You’ll find language studies at UVM offer the best of both worlds: small classes taught by gifted and committed faculty members in the context of a large university, which offers numerous study abroad opportunities and on-campus language communities. 

Language proficiency is not just a skill that broadens your capacity to communicate--it is a passport leading to deeper cultural understanding. Studying a language can add another dimension to global and regional studies, history, political science, or any other discipline you choose to study.

Our language curriculum prepares graduates for careers in a wide range of fields both in the U.S. and abroad, from higher education to the corporate world and NGOs. Check out what some of our alumni are doing.

  • Will Julian

    Fulbright Leads to Teaching Position in Russia

    A double major in biochemistry and Russian, Will Julien ’17 received a Critical Language Scholarship through the U.S. State Department. Beginning in the fall of 2017 he taught university level students at the Tyumen State Medical University with the support of a Fulbright grant. “With the language, I've had opportunities I couldn't have even imagined—whether it was spending weekends in Saint Petersburg and Moscow, or living in Siberia. My degree in Russian also seems to attract the attention of employers.” Julian credits the mentorship of his language professors at UVM as a key to his success. “The longer I spend abroad the more thankful I am for the level of preparation I received at UVM, especially considering the occasional logistical challenges of a double major. The level of dedication to the students as well as the depth of knowledge there is incredible.”

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Japanese students in Kimonos

Deepening Language Skills and Global Citizenship

At home . . .

Expand your sights, open your mind, and discover everyday existence as a global citizen through the exploration of culture, language, and lifestyle—in an inclusive community where students deepen their capacity for learning and understanding shared values, social practices, and expressions.

Many UVM Cultural Crossroads communities emphasize practicing everyday conversation in Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian and Spanish.

. . .  And abroad

Exchange programs provide an opportunity to experience living in a new culture, attend a university abroad, and practice daily language skills. UVM faculty, in partnership professional staff in the UVM Office of International Education, are committed to helping you identify enriching programs abroad. Some of these include:

Austria: Vienna University of Economics and Business, Vienna

China: Shandong University of Science and Technology, Shandong

France: ICN Business School, Nancy

Germany: University of Augsburg, Augsburg

Greece:  American School of Classical Studies, Athens

Italy:  American Academy in Rome

Japan: Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo; and Kansai Gaidai University, Osaka

Mexico: Universidad Panamericana, Guadalajara

The Netherlands: Maastricht University Faculty of Health, Medicine, and Life Sciences, Maastricht; the University College Maastricht, Maastricht; and Windesheim University, Zwolle.

Russia: Yaroslavl State University, Yaroslavl, Russia

Spain: Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Madrid; Universidad de León, León; and Centro de Idiomas, Léon