Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
Your opportunities at Butler for immersive, global learning are endless. Over 100 programs serve students in all the languages we offer.
Take advantage. Passport in hand, the lessons you learn from venturing beyond the familiar can’t be taught in a classroom. They’re lessons you’ll take with you forever.
Each year up to 150 Modern Languages students plunge themselves into cultures on six continents, via programs coordinated by Butler’s Center for Global Education (CGE).
You'll surround yourself with native speakers—the absolute best way to greatly improve your fluency and ability to utilize the language(s) confidently in real-world settings. Upon return to campus, your language ePortfolio, our department's FL 499 Senior Keystone course, and Butler’s Internship and Career Services (ICS) will guide you in marketing your study abroad experiences to employers, graduate schools, and more.
Over the past few years, 10 of our students won prestigious Fulbright awards. They're now teaching English and continuing their linguistic and cultural studies in Brazil, France, China, Colombia, Germany, and Mexico—guided by Butler’s Center for High Achievement and Scholarly Engagement (CHASE).
Where to Begin
- Attend an info session for the particular Study Abroad program (e.g., Alcalá de Henares, Costa Rica, Shanghai) or a general Study Abroad gathering during the year prior to leaving. General info sessions are held monthly, and a schedule can be found on CGE’s website.
- Meet with your academic advisor(s). Work together to determine the ideal semester or summer term in which to study abroad and identify classes that you will need to fulfill while studying abroad in order to stay on track with your academic plan at Butler.
- Look over the List of Approved Programs. Begin researching programs that may be a good fit for your academic goals. The list is available online or via paper copy in the CGE office: Jordan Hall, Room 138.
- Make an appointment to meet with the CGE Study Abroad Advisor. This one-on-one consultation will help to ensure that you have chosen an appropriate program and are on track with your study abroad plans (e.g., passport, student visa, chip and pin debit/credit card).
Obtain Course Equivalencies
If you're looking to transfer in courses for Chinese, French, German, or Spanish credit (or for general "Foreign Language FL" credit, meaning languages we don't offer at Butler like Arabic, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, etc.):
- Obtain the study abroad approval form from CGE (JH 138).
- List potential courses in the left-hand column.
- Leave the right-hand column blank.
- Print out and paper-clip to the approval form as much information as possible about every course. Sample syllabi are preferred. At a minimum, attach course descriptions.
- Bring all documents to the Modern Languages (MLLC) main office (JH 384 A).
- The MLLC department chair will read over your materials and, if possible, assign Butler equivalencies. Be prepared that more information may be needed.
If you're looking to transfer in courses for non-language credit, follow the instructions above, but, take the documents to the department or School overseeing that area of inquiry.
Butler University’s Semester-in-Spain program is offered each fall. Led by a Butler professor who serves as Resident Faculty Director, approximately 20 students spend the semester at the Universidad de Alcalá de Henares.
Located just 17 miles from Madrid, this medium-sized city (about 170,000 inhabitants) offers the best of both worlds: you will live and study within Alcalá’s warm small-town atmosphere, yet the vibrant cultural and social venues of downtown Madrid are just a short commuter train ride away.
Classes and Activities
The Universidad de Alcalá offers a wide array of language and culture courses, taught completely in Spanish, but designed specifically for non-native-speaking students. (If you have particularly strong Spanish language skills already, you can petition to take some of your classes with regular University of Alcalá students.) The courses you take—12 credits for the semester—can count toward your MLLC major, minor, or other Butler programs with approval (e.g., a media course counting toward your CCOM major/minor).
The Butler faculty director will offer one course, usually at the 400 level, during the semester; all students in the program are required to take that course. The faculty director also provides academic and student life advising and facilitates organized, guided tours to various cities and sites of interest. Although the excursions change from year to year, typical visits may include Toledo, Ávila, Salamanca, Segovia, Granada, Córdoba, or Sevilla. You should consult with your academic advisor(s) about the appropriate classes to take while abroad.
You will live with a Spanish family a short walk (or a short bus ride) from campus and are set up with a private bedroom and three meals a day. The homestay allows you to take advantage of the cultural and linguistic interactions that such a living arrangement provides. Housing is an important part of the overall experience and past participants have enjoyed living with a Spanish family.
To be eligible for this program, you must have a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA and have completed at least two 300-level Spanish courses.
How to Apply
Typically in early January, applications can be obtained from the Department of Modern Languages (JH 384 A) or from the Center for Global Education (CGE, JH 138).
Completed applications are typically due to CGE no later than the beginning of February each year.
Butler University’s Three-Week Intensive Program in Costa Rica is offered at the beginning of each summer term. Led by a Butler faculty member—who serves as academic advisor and cultural activity director—up to 20 students are typically approved to participate. The program is based in San José.
You will focus on improving your Spanish speaking and listening proficiencies, attending one-on-one conversation classes according to your level of Spanish (with a different tutor each week).
You’ll also practice Spanish outside of the classroom—and immerse yourself in Costa Rican culture—by staying with local families, who will provide you with breakfast and dinner, and do your laundry.
Butler faculty will lead you on daily trips (such as the Combo Tour), as well as a weekend excursion (to Punta Leona Beach Resort or the Parque Natural Manuel Antonio).
In addition, you’ll have a free weekend to explore and enjoy the country's beauty on your own, including beaches on the Pacific Ocean or Caribbean Sea, rainforests, volcanoes, springs, waterfalls, canopy, rafting, and horseback riding.
The prerequisite for this program is at least one SP 300-level Skills course (i.e., SP 300, 305, 315, or 320).
How to Apply
Completed applications are typically due to CGE no later than the beginning of December each year.
On a one-for-one basis, these exchange programs provide you an opportunity to enjoy an independent, full-immersion experience while your counterparts from abroad attend Butler.
You'll receive a wide range of student services that give careful attention to safety and security issues, including the support of Butler's Center for Global Education (CGE).
Educational opportunities at Tübingen, Zeppelin, and Zurich are classroom-based and experiential, including internships and service learning.
Butler has been awarded grants from the Freeman Foundation to support undergraduate student internships in Shanghai and Beijing (the former during summers 2015–2017, the latter during summer 2017).
The summer internships are six weeks long. A Butler faculty member will be on hand at the beginning of the semester to get you settled. If pursuing the internship for Chinese credit, you will work via Skype, email, and other online platforms (e.g., Moodle) with an MLLC Instructor.
If you’re accepted into the program, you will receive $5,000 to offset the cost of your travel and housing.
Grace Lewis, a senior majoring in Pharmacy and minoring in Chinese, said her internship at the pharmaceutical company Eisai China, Inc. taught her about the pharmaceutical industry and drug marketing, and also gave her insight into healthcare in China.
At the conclusion of my internship, I realized that the industry is a viable option for my future career,” she said. “Living and working in China greatly contributed to my personal growth. Particularly, my sense of independence grew much more than I had anticipated. —Grace Lewis
If pursuing an internship for Chinese credit (as opposed to, for example, College of Business credit), you should briefly meet with Butler’s Chinese program coordinator Dr. Xiaoqing Liu, before you apply, to discuss your language proficiencies.
How to Apply
Applications can be obtained from the Department of Modern Languages (JH 384 A) or from the Center for Global Education (CGE) (JH 138). Completed applications are typically due to CGE no later than the beginning of March each year.
“There are many logistics that go into an exciting program like this,” said Jill McKinney, Butler’s Director of Study Abroad in the Center for Global Education. “It hits much of what the Butler 2020 plan wants for students, which is high-impact programs.
“This is an innovative blend of two kinds of high-impact programs: study abroad and internships. As we strive to send off students to have a meaningful impact on the world, graduates who have a broader worldview and have had an internship in one of the leading economies in the world will have a distinct advantage in the job market.”
Learn a Language With Us. Take On the World.
Study at Butler and you'll broaden your global perspectives, traveling abroad for immersive language and cultural studies, and engaging with active polylingual and multicultural communities here in Indianapolis.
Check out pictures documenting students' adventures in our department’s Flickr account.
Have pictures of your own?
Each year our student Modern Language Center (MLC) collects submissions for a photo contest, for which winning entries get framed and displayed in the MLC, and small gifts are awarded to the photos’ owners.
Each year’s entries are typically due by April. More information can be found on the MLC's webpage.
Liberal Arts Core Values
We are proud to be part of Butler's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS), working every day to infuse your education with the best the Humanities have to offer.
The College's faculty have put into writing how we intend to do so.
Read our LAS Core Values in English.
Contact our MLLC faculty members anytime.