World Languages and Cultures

Mount Holyoke College has responded to the realities of today’s world by maintaining its long-standing, strong commitment to the study of languages and cultures

Encouraging students to become proficient in languages other than English is an essential part of the College’s objective of fostering engaged, global citizenship. Courses in a variety of disciplines across the curriculum examine different cultures from their unique perspectives. On-campus learning communities such as language floors and language clubs promote additional exposure to other cultures, expanding opportunities for multidimensional thinking and expression. And “immersion” experiences such as internships and study-abroad programs further stretch students to think and act outside their own individual situations through developing global awareness and sensitivity. Students who pursue sustained language study with an experiential component and cross-cultural immersion become candidates for the Global Competence Award.


We teach 11 languages:

We also offer majors and minors in romance languages and cultures, classics and ancient studies in addition to many others related to the study of languages and cultures. Through the Five College Supervised Independent Language Program at the Five College Center for the Study of World Languages, students can also learn less commonly taught languages, such as Czech, modern Greek, Swahili, Turkish, Urdu and Wolof.

Language Learning Support

The Language Assistant Program provides weekly opportunities for students to practice speaking and learning languages. Information regarding individual tutoring is provided by each department. 

Language Living-Learning Communities are residential options designed to foster community among students who seek to improve their language skills and explore culture through events and activities. 

The Language Resource Center offers a variety of media and computer equipment, software, books, films, magazines, cultural events and other resources to support the process of language acquisition.

Courses taught in English

All language departments offer courses in English designed to complement language courses and to help students deepen their understanding of and exposure to global cultures and societies. Courses are often interdisciplinary — in the humanities, social sciences and sciences and through programs, such as film studies, gender studies, critical social thought, and those that explore ethnic studies.