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Modern Languages

Learning a foreign language is an experience that broadens your outlook, giving you a deeper grasp of the cultural differences among people while revealing the things we all share in common.   Today, the ability to communicate effectively across borders — and more widely within our own — is especially critical.  We live in a fluid, multi-cultural, global community where understanding our neighbors not only helps us get along, but also is essential in business.  At UNH, we help you achieve proficiency in the foreign language of your choice through a combination of coursework and experiential learning.

Imagine Yourself Speaking Chinese in Shanghai…

 …or Arabic in Dubai.  What about Russian in St. Petersburg?  At UNH, our students can minor in Chinese, Arabic, Russian, and Spanish and also study Italian, German, and French languages through methods that frequently immerse them in the language and culture they are learning.  What better place to learn Italian than by attending the UNH Prato campus near Florence, Italy.  Speak, breathe, and soak-in the Italian language and culture while taking classes lead by University faculty.

Whether studying Italian in Prato, or at our main campus, you’ll learn from dynamic instructors, who not only teach the language but also stress the cultural dimensions that are essential to truly understanding its nuances.

In addition to the enriching academic and cultural advantages of learning a foreign language there’s another, more practical side to foreign language proficiency — your marketability.

Make yourself a stronger competitor in the global market.

Fluency in multiple languages gives you an edge.  It’s a sought-after skill valued by most employers.  Knowing Arabic or another "Critical Need" language, has given UNH students that edge when they’ve entered the job market upon graduation. This is especially true for jobs in the criminal justice field and for many government positions. The business world, teaching, dietetics, and dental hygiene also need multi-lingual job candidates.  There’s a critical need for proficiency in Spanish in these fields.  Knowing French — useful for anyone working in many parts of Africa, the Caribbean, and of course, Europe — is also at the top of the list of desired language skills.   The global economy and digital communications has made international communication essential, with both Russia and China holding significant relationships with US corporations.  So, give yourself a leg-up with a foreign language minor.

Get the hands-on experience that enhances your skills.

We give our language students unique opportunities to engage in valuable interactions with local cultural or social-action groups.  Some of our students have used their Spanish to tutor ESL (English As a Second Language) students in Fair Haven and when participating in local community events such as Día de los Muertos parades.

Others, studying Arabic and Spanish, use their language skills while working with community service organizations.  One of these organizations is City Seed, which coordinates farmer's markets in New Haven and encourages low-income Arabic- and Spanish-speaking residents to take advantage of the opportunity to eat healthier foods.

We also frequently arrange opportunities for immersion experiences through study abroad programs, which enable robust proficiency levels. 

You may be interested to know that students studying critical languages, such as Arabic, have a greater chance of receiving certain grants and scholarships — the Critical Language Scholarship and the Boren Scholarship, to name two.  Other International Study Abroad scholarships are also available.