It's Your Time to CONNECT

The Department of World Languages at Aquinas College promotes an understanding of and exchange with other cultures both within and outside the United States. Our integrated program of language learning incorporates all of the four language skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Students learn to use the language in a communicative, interactive environment within the classroom. The Department also offers a variety of courses for advanced study in culture, literature, applied language for the professions, translation and interpretation. These courses are designed to enhance an understanding of the richness of the human experience over the centuries and across cultures, and prepare our students for graduate school and/or the professional world.

Choose a Language of Study

View of Paris


Street in Spain

Flags of the world

Student Research


Check out the current and past research that Aquinas students do with faculty to further the world's knowledge.Read More about Student Research

Quick Facts on the World Languages Department

1. With the second highest number of majors on campus, World Languages offers courses in French, German, and Spanish.
2. Students in the German Senior Capstone Course engage in interdisciplinary research projects by connecting their thesis with their second major to conduct and present original research.
3. The French studies program offers project-based language courses where students engage meaningfully with the target language and real-world issues of France and other Francophone societies.
4. The Spanish program is focused on excellence beyond the classroom into the global community by promoting an understanding of an exchange with Hispanic cultures both within and outside the United States.
5. Aquinas is the regional examination center of the Paris Chamber of Commerce where students take the Diplôme de Français Professionnel A aires B 2 de la Chambre de Commerce et d’Industrie de Paris Ile-de-France
6. Graduates have been accepted to renowned graduate and professional schools including The University of Chicago, New York University, Monterey Institute of International Studies, The University of Texas at Austin, and University of Massachusetts.
7. The Spanish program offers 300-level courses covering topics such as literature, film, art, linguistics, culture and civilization, ecology, business, medical interpretation, community engagement, and dance.
8. The German Studies program offers courses that integrate hands-on classroom teaching with experiential learning opportunities by collaborating with institutional partners in Grand Rapids.
9. Students of Spanish conduct and present their original research at academic conferences, shadow medical interpreters, and conduct service learning projects within the community and abroad.

Benefits of Language Learning

Learning another language is a fun experience, and it has a lot of different benefits throughout your life. No matter what age you are, learning a language helps your brain grow. Here are some of the assets you gain when you learn a language. 

Youth - Learning 
Test scores: Bilingual students perform better in math, reading, and vocab on standardized tests. 
Life skills: Children who speak multiple languages develop superior attention, mental flexibility, and memory.
Cognition: Bilingual students outperform monolingual students in forming scientific hypotheses

Adulthood - Career
College success: Students who study languages perform better academically in college.
Higher earnings: Bilingual workers can earn as much as $128,000 more in their lifetime.
Employability: 88% of job recruiters say speaking multiple languages is critical to business success. 

Maturity - Health
Longevity: Onset of Alzheimer’s disease is delayed by 4-5 in bilingual adults
Healthier brain: Bilingual adults who get Alzheimer’s disease suffer less brain damage 
Better recovery: Bilingual adults are twice as likely to retain full brain function after a stroke