Languages in a Global World

As a microcosm of America’s linguistic diversity, Rutgers University–New Brunswick is ideally positioned to make languages a cornerstone of its education. Studying languages at the college level has specific merits: it sharpens the intellect, promotes cultural awareness, and provides knowledge and skills that can be developed in connection with other fields.

Studying languages helps make global connections, even in our own backyard. In the photo above, Arts and Sciences students in New Brunswick are learning “Portuguese for Business and Commerce” as they interact with students at Rutgers University–Newark through a video portal.

The School of Arts and Sciences provides instruction in more than two dozen languages from Arabic and Chinese to Vietnamese and Yoruba.  

The stories below show the many ways in which our undergraduates gain knowledge, depth, and skills from studying language.


  • Two Unforgettable Days of Poetry and Politics at Rutgers

    The Department of French presented its first-ever Poetries–Politics colloquium, drawing students, staff, and faculty from across Rutgers University–New Brunswick and transforming the Rutgers Academic Building into a place of art, culture, and intellectual conversation.

  • Studying Russian Prepared Rutgers Student for the World

    Petter Carkhuff, a Class of 2018 graduate, says that majoring in Russian language and literature had a major impact on his life. “I am much more engaged with the world, more culturally aware, and better able to understand different perspectives,” he says.

  • Pioneering Rutgers Department Reaches Across East Asia

    The Department of Asian Languages and Cultures, is a major center of scholarship that reaches across the literary, cultural, and linguistic expanse of East Asia. Students are drawn to learn about the culture and the historic and future importance of the region to the globalized world.

  • Video Portals Help Rutgers Connect Across Campuses


    A video portal created by the Department of Computer Sciences supports language teaching across campuses. New Brunswick students participate in a class as it unfolds in real time from Newark. They can make eye contact, raise their hands, and be called upon in Portuguese by the teacher 30 miles away.

  • New Generation of Students Connect with French

    Considering ideas for Rutgers Day 2015? Check out the creative, entertaining programs that the French Department came up with last year. During one week, the department celebrated French culture, provided a glimpse into its academic programs, and brought together faculty, students, and alumni.

  • Rutgers Students Investigate Languages at Risk of Extinction

    In a new humanities course, students learn about the complex forces that may cause thousands of languages to vanish. Using online tools, the students are documenting the unique features of these languages for a web project that will preserve the knowledge for future generations.

  • Scholarly, Passionate, and Creative, German Professors Win Teaching Awards

    Go behind the scenes in a small academic department and learn how faculty are constantly reinventing and challenging themselves to inspire a new generation of students. "One value that we all share is educating the whole person," said Martha Helfer, a former longtime chair.