Languages and Cultures

International flags hang outdoors.


The Department of Languages and Cultures prepares students for the challenges and opportunities in the multilingual, multicultural world we inhabit.

Majoring in a language means developing advanced communicative proficiency in the language and gaining a deeper understanding of the people and places where the language is spoken. Knowledge of a foreign language also deepens understanding of one's own language, values, and traditions and fosters a greater appreciation of cultural differences. Area studies majors further attain an interdisciplinary perspective on a diverse and dynamic region of the world.


Language instruction in the Department of Languages and Cultures (LANC) is oriented toward practical usage. In addition to Spanish for both non-natives and heritage speakers, LANC offers Spanish courses for professional applications in fields such as health care and business. Learners can develop their creative writing ability or hone their translation skills. Students also have the opportunity to participate in community-based internships or to gain mentored, hands-on language teaching experiences. Extracurricular offerings include weekly language conversation hours, academic honor societies, and cultural clubs that host a variety of activities and events each year.

Many LANC students opt to spend part of their time at California State University, Chico studying abroad. A multitude of program options means that there is literally a choice to fit every student's needs. Whether you opt to spend a year abroad through one of the California State University International Programs, or a year, semester, or summer through AIFS, USAC, direct exchange, or via a faculty-led program abroad in one of dozens of locations, you will be able to apply that academic work toward a major or minor in languages and/or area studies, as well as toward another major or minor and/or General Education and other graduation requirements. A program advisor in LANC or a study abroad advisor can help you choose the program that is right for you.


Intercultural competence opens the door to many exciting careers. Proficiency in a world language and/or a degree in area studies leads to careers in international business, marketing, foreign intelligence and diplomacy, travel and tourism, entertainment, media and public relations, communications, translation/interpretation, teaching, and many service professions, to name but a few. Students specifically interested in careers in language education in the U.S. or abroad can enhance their employment potential by completing the MA in Language Teaching.

At the same time, a language and/or area studies major enhances a candidate's attractiveness to employers in most career fields both at home and abroad. Proficiency in another language as well as the cultural awareness and general communication skills that are attained as part of the major are highly valued by employers.