Foreign Language

Guilford offers courses in French, German, Japanese, and Spanish and an academic major in French, German, and Spanish. The Foreign Languages Department is an integral part of the College’s commitment to study abroad programs, and international studies majors and concentrations. Across the campus, and indeed the nation, educators in other fields are realizing that our evolving global economy and society require an understanding of and engagement with cultures other than our own. Learning a language is a passport to another culture—in fact, one is hard pressed to separate the two—and just as it provides access to others, it also allows us to step outside our own culture with new insight.

At Guilford, we focus on language not only as a living, functioning, and fun discipline, but also as a new way of seeing and thinking. Culture is an integral component of the foreign language curriculum. In all courses and at all levels, students continue to learn or improve their language skills while discovering the history, literature, arts, architecture, and political and social structures of various countries. We are committed to preparing students for the possibility of study abroad. For the program in Munich, preference is given to students with at least two semesters of German. Since taking language early on prepares students for one of Guilford’s semester abroad programs, the department recommends beginning the study of a new language immediately, in order to take advantage of these exciting opportunities. Students intending to participate in one of our programs in Japan are especially encouraged to take the introductory Japanese courses at Guilford.

There is a campus-wide requirement of the first semester of college-level language study.

NOTE: All incoming students who have taken more than one year of a foreign language in high school must take a language placement exam for that language prior to course registration if they plan to take a course in the that language. Students placing above the 101 level will have satisfied the foreign language studies requirement; however, they are encouraged to continue their language studies at the level they test into which they tested. Those who place into 101 must complete the one-semester language requirement before graduation. Students who want to begin a new language may register for a 101 level course without taking the placement exam. However, they are encouraged to also take the placement exam in the language they have studied, in case they change their plans later. Students who feel they should be exempt due to documented learning differences should contact Guilford’s Learning Commons at 336.316.2200.

For more information, email Hiroko Hirakawa or call 336.316.2413.