2003-205 University Catalog spacer
California State University, ChicoTable of ContentsSearchDegreesCoursesScheduleHome spacer
want to learn german? world art entire world in a screenshot where do you want to go ?

Foreign Languages and Literatures

Nowadays one need not travel far to hear another language. Moreover, travel or study abroad or a career with an international company will quickly expose the fallacy of the phrase “Everyone speaks English there; don’t worry!”

The Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures serves a variety of educational goals, including study of the humanities through a foreign language; teacher training for the elementary, secondary, and community college levels; language training for use in other professional areas; and preparation for those who wish to pursue graduate studies. Majoring in a foreign language means studying the language, literature, and culture of the country concerned. In addition, knowledge of a foreign language enhances and deepens people’s understanding of their own culture and language and contributes toward a greater appreciation of other cultures.

The department offers majors and minors in French, German, and Spanish, a minor in Italian, and courses in Japanese and Latin. A new, state-of-the-art, multimedia Computer Laboratory was installed in 1998. The uses and applications of this new technology are limitless and they will greatly enhance the department’s capability to fulfill its mission in teaching and learning.

Students interested in a program of study in other foreign languages such as Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew, Portuguese, and Russian, should refer to the program entitled Self-Instructional Language Program under “International Studies” in The University Catalog.

International Programs

Qualified students have an opportunity to study for a year in one of 16 countries through the California State University International Programs. For example, students studying German can spend a year at one of the German universities located in the Federal State of Baden- Württemberg. CSU, Chico also has an exchange scholarship program with the University of Mainz in Germany and exchange programs with universities in Mexico, Costa Rica, China, Taiwan and Japan. Students also have the option of studying abroad for a semester, year  or summer in Italy, France, Spain, and many other countries. In conjunction with the Latin American Studies Program, the Mexico and Costa Rica programs offer 10 weeks of preparatory study in Chico and six weeks of work experience in Mexico and San Jose, Costa Rica. All students have the possibility of participating in the summer International Education Program from Foothill College.

The German program encourages students to take courses, for credit, with the Goth Institute in Germany.  In connection with the Goethe Institute in San Francisco, students enrolled in CSU, Chico German classes are eligible to take an examination that qualifies them for an internationally recognized certificate, called Zertifikat Deutsche als Fremdsprache (ZDaF) and Zentrale Mittelstufenprufüng (ZMP), which is administered locally by the German section of the department.

Career Outlook

A degree in a foreign language, especially in conjunction with a second major, increases employment prospects with such employers as the government, multinational corporations, airlines, shipping companies, wineries, and travel agencies, hospitals, education, technology, and music.

Foreign language competency is necessary in different  international programs (international relations, international business) and area studies programs (Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, Middle East, and Pacific Basin).

In California and many other states, Spanish is a very useful adjunct to your education in the fields of social welfare, medicine, elementary and secondary teaching, and other areas of public service.

For students planning to attend graduate school, the knowledge of a foreign language is an important research tool and is a requirement in most disciplines.


The Department offers several scholarships in conjunction with the College of Humanities and Fine Arts. The Italian Program offers two or more scholarships a year for the study of Italian.