“In my friend group in Korea during my Summer Language Abroad, there were people from Australia, from Turkey, from London, and China — you got to learn so much about the world. After going to Korea, I realized that I really wanted to gain proficiency in the language, and I knew I would have to go back to Korea to do that.”
— Sydney Porter ’20, political science and FTT major
Fulbright English Teaching Assistant, South Korea
Arts & Letters has everything you need to prepare for success — no matter where you chart your course.
College is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explore the world, learn more about it, and build skills and experiences that can send you anywhere after graduation.
No matter which languages and cultures you choose to study during your time at Notre Dame, by coming to South Bend, you’re unlocking a world of possibilities.
- 15+ different languages to study
- Dozens of study abroad locations around the world — including at Notre Dame’s six Global Gateways
- More than 70% of Arts & Letters study abroad
- Language and culture classes that sharpen your critical thinking, writing, speaking, and collaboration skills.
- Majors, minors, and special programs that broaden your understanding of the world.
- Grants that fund your international research or internship.
The College of Arts and Letters now offers instruction in 18 languages:
Catholicism is the world’s most multicultural and multilingual institution, and our Catholic identity inspires our work helping students prepare to be global citizens making a difference in the world.
To promote language and cultural fluency, the College’s Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures combines teaching and technology with dozens of special events each semester, including language tables and peer tutoring. Its Summer Language Abroad grants also allow graduate students and undergraduates to participate in intensive language immersion programs that often advance their fluency level by two full semesters in just one summer.
Show the world what you know.
The Globally Engaged Citizens program rewards learning and experiences students are already engaging in and encourages them to go further with their study of foreign languages and intercultural topics.
There is room in any Notre Dame student’s schedule to become a GEC — all that’s required is two courses, participation in a range of intercultural experiences, and completion of an easy-to-make ePortfolio.
This designation will stand out on your resume and LinkedIn profile, and show that you spent your time at Notre Dame expanding your mind and building valuable skills by engaging with the world.
Education Through Experience
The questions Arts and Letters students ask take them around the world. Whether you’re consulting the Vatican Library, delving into an obscure South American archive, filming a documentary in Asia, or conducting ethnographic research in Africa, research funding is available from an array of University programs, centers, and institutes. Many Arts and Letters students receive grants from the College’s Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP).
Why study a language?
Learning a foreign language sharpens your thinking and improves your memory, but it also broadens your travel opportunities, enhances your research potential, and makes you more marketable to future employers.
Demand for bilingual talent in major industries has more than doubled in the past 5 years, and high-prestige jobs are the fastest growing sector in need of foreign language speakers. See why studying a foreign language is good for your brain — and great for your career.
Majors: Political science and Russian
When Brianna walked into her first Russian class at Notre Dame, she didn’t know much about the language — including that it had its own alphabet. Four years later, she was reading poetry and prose in Russian, discussing current events in the language, and preparing for a full-time IT job at Ford Motor Co. that would draw on her knowledge of Russian.
I always left class so fascinated by what we had learned and excited about how we can talk about it all in Russian. When I started at Ford during an internship, a supervisor wanted me on her team because I might understand Russian code. I had no clue that I would be using Russian at all, so that was amazing.”
Melchior F.R. Perella-Savarese IV
Majors: Program of Liberal Studies, Italian
After graduation, Melchior did full-time service work with AmeriCorps as an English teacher on the border of Mexico. His majors helped provide him with a background for teaching the technicalities of teaching and understanding language — abilities he continued to develop when he moved to Finland to work as an application project manager on hospital software systems for Epic.
Through international experiences in Arts & Letters, I garnered a rich variety of skills — data analysis, communication, cultural interaction, leadership, and calmness under pressure. Knowing a second language has really helped me in traveling to countries where Italian is spoken and in adjusting to Finnish.”
Michelle’s experience in history and languages allowed her to develop invaluable skills in data analysis, linguistics, writing, critical thinking, and research. That helped her find success in fields as diverse as educational publishing, user experience design, and conversational artificial intelligence.
Studying languages teaches you to step outside your perspective — a critical skill for any career. It can also have unexpected benefits years after Notre Dame — my knowledge of French and Japanese ultimately allowed me to shift from a career in publishing to one that was much more focused on technology, where I thrived focusing on communication between machines and people.”
Preparation for Life
For some Notre Dame students, their experiences abroad open up a world of opportunities back home. For others, it opens doors to international educational and professional pursuits they never previously considered.
Notre Dame—especially the College of Arts and Letters—is a top producer of Fulbright grant recipients, annually placing many students in the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program.
The Flatley Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement offers many resources for students to pursue research and creative endeavors during their time at Notre Dame. It also encourages and facilitates students’ applications for nationally competitive fellowships—including successfully helping several recent graduates become Rhodes Scholars.
The power of Notre Dame alumni network extends around the globe, with more than 270 clubs across the U.S. and in 50 international cities.
International Program VideosMore Videos
- Admissions Information for International Students
- Career Resources for International Students
- Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures
- Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement
- Globally Engaged Citizens Program
- Kellogg Institute for International Studies
- Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies
- Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies
- Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies
- Nanovic Institute for European Studies
- Office of International Studies
- Study Abroad Information for Prospective Students
- Summer Language Abroad Grant Program
- Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program