Pedestrian Bridge in France

Become a Global Citizen!    

You don't need to be a language major to develop 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. 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.

Read this recent article to find more on why everyone should study a world language!

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


Picture of a street view of town in MexicoSpanish 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. In fact, the United States is now the world's second-largest Spanish speaking country.

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 speaking 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.

Mission Statement:

The Spanish Language and Culture major combines communicative language learning, the analytical study of culture, literature, and linguistics and the practical applications of the language through community-based work experiences and internships.  Spanish majors develop advanced language proficiency, cultural understanding, and analytical and critical thinking skills necessary to work and succeed in a global environment. Specifically, students who major in Spanish will be able to:

  • Describe diverse cultures, literatures and artistic works in the Spanish speaking countries studied, including how past events have influenced contemporary society.  
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the fundamental grammatical and linguistic features of Spanish.
  • Place at or above Intermediate High as described by the ACTFL speaking and writing benchmarks at graduation.
  • Successfully develop and present college-level research in Spanish, using information resources effectively and ethically.    
  • Incorporate a variety of cultural and/or intellectual perspectives in their work.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to community service through practical application of Spanish knowledge and skills in local or international internships.


Picture of Mount Fuji, JapanJapan is not just the country of Samurais and Kimonos. 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 opportunities 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.



Picture of students at the French dinner

Did you know that French is one of the top three international languages for business 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 the 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 discipline. 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, study abroad sites in four French-speaking African countries, 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

American Sign Language

students signing "I love you"

American Sign Language is not just a language; it is a physical and visual form of communication. In contrast to the other languages that we offer, ASL is a domestic language; there are signers right here in our own backyard, and a multitude of opportunities to connect with deaf culture in Southern Oregon. Our ASL instructors are well connected to the deaf community and provide cultural insights as well as immersion-based instruction in ASL. Students can meet the B.A. language requirement by taking two years of ASL.



Dr Anne Connor, Department Chair
Central 217
1250 Siskiyou Blvd.
Ashland, OR 97520
(541) 552-6743