World Languages and Cultures

Indiana University has a long tradition of excellence and leadership in international and global studies. Most notably, that tradition is seen in the support that Herman B Wells gave to the establishment of world-class departments and programs in that area, as well as the current emphasis across the entire university in giving students the tools to better understand, appreciate, and work in our ever-shrinking world. Specifically, the 6-credit-hour World Languages and Cultures requirement has the following goals: (1) to understand elements that distinguish cultures from one another and to be able to compare cultural perspectives; (2) to gain the linguistic tools to communicate in another language at the intermediate level; (3) to develop analytical skills appropriate to the study of international and intercultural relations; and (4) to apply such understanding and skills by means of active participation and reflection in programs of study outside the United States.

This requirement strives to increase student knowledge of the variety of international societies and may deal to some extent with U.S. culture in its international connections. It need not focus on the present but may, instead, be a historical subject. The requirement seeks to expand student knowledge of world affairs, cultures, societies, and values; explore traditions grounded in different cultural paradigms; and provide a framework for understanding and appreciating the ideas and values of different cultures. These goals are intended to provide a foundation for basic understanding and knowledge, which will be further developed in more advanced studies; internationalization and globalization should infuse a student's experience at Indiana University. 

The World Languages and Cultures requirement may be completed through one of three options: language study, world culture courses, or international experiences (for details, see IU Bloomington General Education requirements).

  • For a list of GenEd-approved World Language courses, click here.
  • For a list of GenEd-approved World Culture courses, click here.
  • For information about opportunities for studying abroad, see the Web site of the IU Overseas Study Program.

Academic Bulletins

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