Calvin offers one of the most extensive foreign language programs among Christian colleges, with world-class opportunities to develop your language and cultural engagement skills.
At Calvin, you have many language options—and many ways to make the most of them. Whether you want to immerse yourself in a language and culture, bolster your career plans, or fulfill the graduation requirement, these options will broaden your perspective while they support your academic goals.
If you're wondering...
- Do I need to take a language?
- Will I have time for a language?
- Which language should I take?
In an increasingly global economy, a knowledge of Chinese language and culture connects you with over one-fifth of the world's population.
Calvin has the only comprehensive program in Chinese offered by a Christian college in North America. Studying Chinese at Calvin will give you a truly 360-degree view of Chinese culture through classes in Chinese philosophy, history, culture, religion, and more.
Calvin is proud to be one of only a handful of colleges and universities nationwide that offer a Dutch major and minor program.
Because Dutch is a Germanic language with close ties to English, most native speakers of English find the grammar and vocabulary very familiar. Learning Dutch makes good sense, regardless of your major, because Netherlandic culture richly touches so many areas, such as history, economics and finance, engineering and water management, art history, literature, religion, immigration and colonial studies, and much more.
Consider studying the beautiful French language, spoken by more than 125 million people worldwide.
Calvin's French programs will help you to go beyond just linguistic competence; you will improve your memory and self-discipline, enhance verbal and problem-solving skills, develop multicultural sensitivity, and, above all, learn what it means to live as a Christian in the Kingdom of God. Studying French also allows you to broaden your knowledge in other areas of study including history, anthropology, political science, literature, geography, linguistics, philosophy, and theology.
The German language and culture are yours to explore through Calvin’s German program.
Studying German at Calvin will build your knowledge of the language and offer you opportunities to be immersed in German culture. You will grow in your ability to speak and understand German while also learning to listen to and better understand our German neighbors. Through your studies, you will get a glimpse of the richness of God’s kingdom, seeing His truth as displayed in Germanic contributions to areas like philosophy, music, linguistics, literature, psychology, and theology.
Greek language and culture has shaped scientific thought, political theory, and theological exploration for thousands of years. The Greek language continues to speak today to conversations about religion, citizenship, and science.
The Greek language program is particularly useful for anyone planning to attend seminary or pursue a career in Christian ministry, or who simply seek a deeper understanding of the language and literature of one of the world's most influential languages.
Calvin College is one of just a few Christian colleges in the United States to offer a comprehensive program in Japanese.
In addition to a comprehensive program of language study, you'll find opportunities to explore Japanese culture through a study abroad semester or interim, weekly cultural activities, and local events organized by the Japanese community.
Calvin offers Korean language courses through the intermediate level as part of the Hubers Asian Studies Program.
Explore the Korean culture and language through courses, cultural activities, and study abroad opportunities.
Explore a language that has shaped and influenced science, literature, religion, philosophy, and scholarship for thousands of years—and that continues to impact our words and ideas today.
Latin has influenced nearly every discipline and field of study, making it a relevant pursuit no matter what your major or minor. Our Latin language program is also useful for those intending to teach the language at the secondary school level.
Study a language spoken by over 500 million people worldwide—the most widely spoken language in the western hemisphere and the official language of 21 countries on four continents.
At Calvin, immerse yourself in the Spanish language and culture through classes and activities that take you from Spanish-speaking churches in Grand Rapids to the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu in Peru, the Maya ruins of Copán in Honduras or the Arab Muslim ruins of Medina Azahara in Spain.