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Study languages abroad

An in-depth guide to studying languages as an international student.

Explore languages programs abroad

See other programs in languages

Languages degrees abroad

Languages degrees allow you to develop important skills like translation, interpretation and linguistics. Many universities refer to these programs as modern languages, and you can also learn about the history and culture of different countries and their languages.

As new technologies continue to make the world smaller, the ability to communicate across national and cultural borders becomes more vital. Not only does the study of language improve communication, but it also helps us understand the cultural and historical contexts that influence how we live.

By studying languages abroad you have the opportunity to experience new cultures that could support your studies. Learning to speak the native tongue when studying abroad is an important part of settling into your environment, something that should come naturally to a languages student.

Languages program structure

Languages and modern language degrees are available to study at undergraduate and postgraduate levels in countries all over the world. Most bachelor’s programs let you study up to three languages, and you can earn a BA after three or four years of studying. If you study in the US, you can choose languages as a major subject as part of a liberal arts education.

Some universities offer languages as a single-honors program, or a joint-honors program alongside another subject like cultural studies, business or history. At postgraduate level you can study languages as an MA over two years, or as a PGCE if you want to qualify as a language teacher. You can also earn a doctorate by studying for a PhD in languages.

Many languages programs include a year abroad where you can practice your language skills with native speakers. You will also be taught through group lectures, seminars and workshops, and assessment will be in the form of written and oral exams, translations, assignments and listening tests.

The program content and curriculum will vary from program to program, and also be dependant on which language you choose to study. Here are some of the most common modern language modules and subjects you may study:

  • Beginners French/German/Italian/Spanish/Mandarin
  • Advanced French/German/Italian/Spanish/Mandarin
  • Exploring cultural identity
  • Researching language
  • Linguistics
  • Translation
  • Interpretation
  • World cinema
  • Cultural history

Types of languages degrees

How to study languages abroad

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    Find the right program for you and your career aspirations

  2. Application assistance

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  3. Visa & embassy guidance

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  4. Enrollment & travel advice

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Languages study abroad programs

Languages undergraduate programs

Bachelor's in languages

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    Asian Languages (Chinese) - BA Arizona State University, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    29,834 USD
    Start date
    January, May, August
    Show program overview about Asian Languages (Chinese)
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    Modern Languages - BA University of Birmingham, UK

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    18,700 GBP
    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Modern Languages
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    East Asian Languages and Literatures - BA University of Kansas, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    26,960 USD
    Start date
    January, June, August
    Show program overview about East Asian Languages and Literatures
  • false

    Teacher Education – World Languages Education – Education Track - BSc University of Central Florida, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    22,478 USD
    Start date
    January, May, August
    Show program overview about Teacher Education – World Languages Education – Education Track
  • false

    Modern Languages - BA University of Saskatchewan, Canada

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    3 years
    Tuition fees per year
    19,749 CAD
    Start date
    January, May, July, September
    Show program overview about Modern Languages
See all bachelor's degrees in languages

Certificate in languages

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    English for Speakers of Other Languages, ESOL - Cert Keiser University, USA

    Program type
    Undergraduate certificate
    Duration
    1 year
    Tuition fees per year
    31,120 USD
    Start date
    January, August
    Show program overview about English for Speakers of Other Languages, ESOL
See all undergraduate certificates in languages

Languages graduate programs

Master's in languages

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    Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages - MA TESOL Long Island University Post, USA

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    44,100 USD
    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview about Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
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    Professional Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages - MA TESOL Westcliff University, USA

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    13,500 USD
    Start date
    January, March, May, June, August, October
    Show program overview about Professional Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
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    Asian Languages/Civilizations (Japanese) - MA Arizona State University, USA

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    24,318 USD
    Start date
    August
    Show program overview about Asian Languages/Civilizations (Japanese)
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    Modern Languages - MPhil University of Newcastle, Australia

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    28,895 AUD
    Start date
    February, July, September
    Show program overview about Modern Languages
  • false

    Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages - MA University of Maryland, Baltimore County, USA

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    22,896 USD
    Start date
    August
    Show program overview about Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
See all master's degrees in languages

Certificate in languages

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    Secondary Modern Languages - GradCert London Metropolitan University, UK

    Program type
    Postgraduate certificate
    Duration
    1 year
    Tuition fees per year
    12,700 GBP
    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Secondary Modern Languages
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    Secondary Modern Languages - PGCert Bath Spa University, UK

    Program type
    Postgraduate certificate
    Duration
    1 year
    Tuition fees per year
    13,300 GBP
    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview about Secondary Modern Languages
See all postgraduate certificates in languages

Future languages careers

As a languages graduate you will have developed a variety of skills that can apply to a number of careers. Here are some of the most common roles modern language students go into:

  • Translator or interpreter
  • Language teacher
  • Journalist
  • Diplomatic service officer
  • Academic researcher

There are plenty of other sectors like broadcasting and finance that are popular with languages graduates, so don’t limit your job search. If you don’t know exactly what you want to do with your degree after graduation, use the university’s careers service to help you.

You can improve your employability by taking advantage of university clubs and organizations. Studying abroad is also a great way to improve your CV as it shows employers you’re willing to step out of your comfort zone and embrace new experiences.