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Blanche Villar
Photo credit: Kevin Reeves

At Oberlin, we believe that thinking globally is the keystone of a liberal arts education. The Center for Languages and Cultures is dedicated to strengthening the college as an international institution by:

  • encouraging the study, teaching, and research of languages and cultures among students, faculty and staff;
  • collaborating with the Paul and Edith Cooper International Learning Center to provide language-learning resources to students and faculty;
  • supporting collaboration on international topics among departments and programs across campus;
  • helping language and area studies faculty explore new teaching and research directions;
  • encouraging faculty who are not international specialists to broaden their expertise to include global or comparative approaches;
  • helping students understand connections across world regions, time periods, and disciplines;
  • integrating the use of languages other than English in courses across the curriculum;
  • increasing the number of students who spend time abroad as part of their study;
  • extending Oberlin’s connections with academic institutions abroad;
  • sponsoring community events of international and intercultural interest; and
  • preparing students for a globally engaged career.
Quick Facts
  • Oberlin offers instruction in a dozen world languages, from ancient Greek to modern Hebrew, Arabic to Portuguese.
  • Approximately 300 Oberlin students each year participate in approved semester- or year-long study away programs. In the most recent Open Doors survey (2014/15) sponsored by the Institute for International Education, Oberlin College was ranked 5th in the top 40 Baccalaureate Institutions in the total number of study abroad students.
  • Oberlin’s international student community makes up 13 percent of our student body and includes foreign nationals, dual U.S. and foreign citizens, U.S. citizens living abroad, and foreign nationals with permanent residency in the United States.
  • About 10 percent of Oberlin’s continuing faculty hold degrees from non-U.S. institutions.
  • More than 10 percent of Oberlin’s courses are offered in languages other than English.
  • The majority of the more than 50 formal areas of study that Oberlin offers in the arts and humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and mathematics deal in significant ways with the world outside of the United States. 
  • More than 80 students per semester work as language teachers in the community, teaching Spanish, Chinese, French, and English as a second language through such programs such as SITES , Locohs, and the Immigrant Worker Project.