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Southern Oregon University

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 Join us for our Fall Foreign Language Barbecue! Click here for details

Become a Global Citizen!     

You don't need to be a language major to devolop language fluency and cultural competence that will make you marketable in a global environment. Students in any major can integrate their language studies into their major program to create new opportunities. For example, political science majors with French proficiency can study at the prestigious Institut d'Etudes Politiques in Lyon through our exchange program, gaining new perspectives on world politics, or with advanced Spanish proficiency, they can complete an international internship at the city hall in Rosario, Argentina, learning first hand how government works in that country.

Our global society needs people with language proficiency, cultural understanding, and international experience. The variety of programs in our department will prepare students to live and work in a global enviornment. Come join us in exploring the world!

We are currently revising our site, but the tabs below will give you briief information about the langauges we teach.

American Sign Language

American Sign Language is not just a language; it is a physical and visual form of communication. Our ASL instructors are well connected to the deaf community, and provide cultural insights into this community as well as immersion-based instruction in ASL. Students can meet the B.A. language requiement by taking two yeas of ASL.


French: An International Language

Did you know that French is one of the top three international languages for businesFrench dinners in the world (along with English and Chinese)? One study found that French could become the most important international language within the next 50 years, due to growth of French speakers in francophone countries around the world. The number of French speakers grew worldwide by 25% from 2010 to 2014, and will continue to grow at a rapid pace in the future.  

We are taking new and innovative directions in helping students in all majors develop French language proficiency and experiences in French that are specific to their their discipline as we phase out the French major and minor in 2016. We'll help you find internships and study opportunities to enhance your awareness of global opportunities in your field of study and prepare you for employment in the 21st Century. Students can also major in International Studies using French as their language of concentration.

We have six different study abroad sites in France, and internship opportunities in France and Francophone Africa. The SOU French Club is one of the most active on campus, and our students find exciting and innovative jobs using their French language skills and international experience. For more information about our French program, visit our French site at


German is an important language in western and eastern Europe. The German economy is number one in Europe and the fourth largest in the world. A number of international businesses are headquarterd in Germany, and the United States and Germany continue to have very close ties.

Our quality German program will help you develop confidence in speaking German. Students can study German to meet the B.A. language requirement, and our longstanding exchange agreement with Tubingen University offers unique opportunities and financial support for SOU students to study in Germany. The School of Busiiness also has direct exchange agreements with schools in Germany, and German exchange students also come to SOU. Our active German Club will let you connect immediately with other students who share your interests in the German language and culture.


Japan is not just the country of Sumurais and Kumonons. Japan is a leading world economy and Japanese animation has sparked a new interest in Japanese language studies. Many students in EMDA (Emerging Media and Digital Art) and students in media studies are attracted to Japanese. Japanese students make up one of the largest groups of international students on campus, providing lots of opportunity to interact with native speakers. SOU also offers a study abroad opportunities in Japan. Students can study Japanese through the first two years and continue their study of the language and the culture by studying abroad.


MexicanMusicandDanceWkshopIt is estiimated that by 2015 the United States will become the country with the highest population of Spanish speakers. Spanish is not just the native tongue of most of our neighbors to the south, it is the native language of many of our fellow Americans.

You can major in Spanish Language and Culture or minor in Spanish. Our major includes a balance of language, culture and literature courses, with opportunities to work in the local Spanish community, or do an international internship in a Spanish speaking country. Study and internship opportunities in Spain and throughout Latin America will help you improve your language skills and prepare you to work in a variety of fields where Spanish speakers are increasingly needed.