The College of Liberal Arts is home to courses in language, culture, and society that prepare our students to be global citizens—joining a world with 7 billion neighbors. As a college we are committed to enhancing our students’ global knowledge base. We have more than 300 faculty members across 31 academic units offering over 1,400 courses with globally-focused content.

The languages we teach represent cultures found around the globe and right here in Minnesota. World languages connect our students to new cultures or deepen their understanding of their own past, and give them a competitive advantage.

Through vibrant curriculum and diverse experiences on campus and abroad, our graduates will enter the world prepared to succeed in a global community.

  • Each semester there are over 240 global perspective courses offered, such as Geography 3331: Geography of the World Economy
  • Every year visiting faculty from around the globe enhance course offerings in our college.
  • We teach 28 languagesSecond language study is a requirement in CLA.
  • We offer an innovative interdisciplinary major in global studies.
  • We are a leader in human rights education.
  • The CLA Language Center supports second language, literature, and culture education for the College, the University of Minnesota, and the state.
  • The Chinese Flagship program is an innovative partnership between the federal government, education, and business. Chinese Flagship students immerse themselves in the study of Chinese language and culture, in one of the most highly ranked programs in the US. The Confucius Institute provided ongoing support for the
    Chinese Flagship Program in the form of study space and funding of language proficiency assessments: 26 students/exams (Spring 2016), 26 students/35 exams (Fall 2017).
  • The TandemPlus program matches native speakers of two different languages. Students learn each other's language and help one another to learn.
  • The U of M Learning Abroad Center and the José Ortega-Marañón Foundation worked with the Department of Psychology to create a new semester-based program in
    Madrid, Spain that will provide a research course and research placements in neuroscience and psychology.
  • The team working on International Student Academic Integration is partnering with the Department of Psychology to support their efforts to integrate international students in the classroom. This project is a collaboration between the GPS Alliance and the Center for Educational Innovation, and funded by the International Student Academic Services Fee.

In This Section

    Related News & Stories

    Headshot of Issraa El-Khatib

    The Beauty of Human Connection

    Issraa El-Khatib spent summer 2018 working an internship in Toledo, Spain and taking a course on Christian, Muslim, and Jewish art. She talks about the significance of connecting with classmates, professors, a host family, and her religion. “As a Muslim, it gave me a sense of familiarity and pride in a country that had seemed so foreign to me before,” she says.
    Headshot of Jacob Dixon

    Gain New Perspectives

    For Jacob Dixon, studying in Maputo, Mozambique confirmed a desire to teach Portuguese and opened up interests in the greater Lusophone world. Support from the Institute for Global Studies and the US Department of Education made his trip possible.
    Headshot of Greta Treiber

    Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

    Greta Treiber spent spring 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She discusses her connection with her host family and her tips for other students looking to participate in learning abroad. By honing her Spanish skills, Treiber hopes to further her intercultural competence as she pursues a master's in arts education.
    Photo of Chelsea Spencer

    An Experience for Everyone

    Chelsea Spencer is a senior majoring in German, Scandinavian, Dutch (with an emphasis in German) and global studies and minoring in biology. During her time abroad, Spencer maximized her time by traveling, volunteering, and living with a native German family. Spencer reflects that studying abroad can work for anyone, regardless of their schedule or budget, and adds that “it’s an experience unlike any other.”
    Photo of Molly Tynjala

    Finding Authenticity Abroad

    Molly Tynjala recently graduated with a major in English and a minor in political science. Driven to learn more about her heritage, she began taking Finnish classes as a sophomore and discovered a deep appreciation for Finnish language and culture. The Finnish Connection Scholarship she received allowed her to explore the country firsthand. “The support of donors means the world to me,” she says. “It illustrates to me that other people still have hope for the future and have faith that young people will achieve remarkable things.”
    Photo of Anna Keltner

    A Changed Perspective

    Anna Keltner is working toward a double-major in German, Scandinavian, Dutch (with an emphasis in Finnish) and strategic communications, with a minor in political science. She shares how learning abroad in Finland advanced her personal and professional plans and inspired new goals, adding that she “gained so much confidence, became a lot more independent, and got a much clearer picture of how [she wants her] life to go.”
    Photo of Abby Bauer

    Living Your Coursework

    Abigail Bauer is pursuing a German, Scandinavian, Dutch major and a minor in Swedish. Reflecting on a previous trip to Europe, she explains that “learning abroad makes real the history you learn in the classroom” because it creates a personal, tangible connection. She adds that learning abroad aids in personal development by helping you gain “new confidence to explore other places and their cultures,” and looks forward to returning to Germany this summer.
    Portrait of Aradhya Sood

    Bit by Bit

    Are frictions in the land market hindering the growth of India’s manufacturing sector? Graduate student Aradhya Sood’s research hopes to find the link between land and slow growth in large-scale manufacturing.
    Photo of Monica de la Fuente Iglesias

    Sociolinguistics in Spain

    Two PhD candidates in Hispanic & Lusophone Literatures, Cultures & Linguistics are looking at sociolinguistics of two communities in Spain. Carol Ready conducts ethnographic research involving Moroccan immigrants in Granada and Mónica de la Fuente Iglesias examines language variation in the Spanish spoken in Galicia.
    Photo of Ceclia Pompeo

    Interning in France

    Senior Cecilia Pompeo spent her junior year in Montpellier, France. Not only did she create amazing connections with her host family, but she also participated in two different internships that challenged her language skills and gave her professional experience abroad.