Choosing a World Language at St. Olaf
In choosing a language to study in college, students should consider the following questions and discuss them with their advisor.
- What language(s) have I already studied? Where (high school, language village, camp, travel, community ed, etc.). What are my placement test results?
NOTE: It is not required that students continue in the language(s) in which they take a placement test.
- How far along am I (barely started, intermediate, fluent, etc. How strong are my skills (listening, reading, speaking, writing, grammar)?
- Do I enjoy this language?
- Do I want to continue to a higher level of proficiency in this language?
- Do I want to try something new in college?
- Do I want to acquire an additional world language in college, besides what I have already studied in high school?
- What is my family background? Do I want to study one of my heritage languages?
- Does anyone in my family speak another language and would I like to learn that language too?
- Have I traveled abroad or met someone from another country or otherwise become interested in learning the language and culture of a particular country?
- Is there some area of the world I would like to visit, and if so, should I study the language spoken there in preparation for travel?
- What international study programs am I considering? What language will I need for study abroad?
- Would I like to learn a less commonly taught language, thus gaining an unusual skill that will make me stand out in a crowd? (Chinese, Japanese, Norwegian, Russian, or a classical language like Latin or Greek)
- Am I interested in international business? If so, might I consider Chinese, Japanese, or Russian?
- Am I fascinated by the art, literature, culture, or sport of another country? Should I consider studying the language of that country?
- Am I interested in the history/culture of western civilization? Should I consider a classical language (Latin or Greek)?
- Am I thinking about graduate school? Medical school? Seminary? Should I investigate which language(s) are required/recommended in the area I plan to study?
- What are my first and second choices for language study? Why have I chosen them?
World Languages offered at St. Olaf :