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The Power of Babble

 The program offers a Major and minor in Japanese and Chinese, a minor in Korean, and instruction in Hindi.  All our programs guide students towards cultural as well as linguistic competence, and prepare them to use their languages in the professions and in academic research.

We also participate extensively in Penn State's Summer Intensive Language programs, which offer Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Latin, Russian, Spanish and Korean. 

One of the best ways to learn a language is to study abroad, which all our languages majors are required to do. Even if you are not a major, studying abroad can be a very quick way to fill out a minor in a language, and is the kind of experience that might change your life.




Other languages at Penn State

Through CIC CourseShare, a program that offers instruction in less commonly taught fields through live video link, Penn State students can take courses in a number of other Asian languages, including Indonesian, Tibetan, and Uzbek. For information on taking those courses, please contact Julianna Chaszar <>.

Outside of East and South Asia, Penn State offers instruction in a number of other languages, including Arabic, English as a Foreign Language, French, German and Russian, Spanish, Italian, & Portuguese, Hebrew, and Swahili.

Southeast Asian language study

One of the best places in the United States to study Southeast Asian languages is at the UW-Madison summer institute, which offers generous tuition scholarships and instruction in Burmese, Filipino, Hmong, Indonesia, Javanese, Khmer, Lao, Thai, and Vietnamese.

Language Proficiency Exams

Non-credit foreign language proficiency certification (Mandarin, Japanese, Korean, Taiwanese, Cantonese) may be used to satisfy Penn State foreign language requirements.

Requests for proficiency testing (use this form)  are to be submitted to the Asian Studies Department (102 Old Botany Building)  with the fee ($60) paid at Language Proficiency before the examination is administered.  To sign up for an exam, you must go to 102 Old Botany Building.  Exam dates are posted on the Asian Studies website.

General exam questions can be sent to Sue Stewart (

For Chinese Language exam questions,  contact Chunyuan Di (

For Japanese language exam questions, contact Haruko Iwami (

For Korean language exam questions, contact Ok-sim Kim ().

For questions about this policy, contact the School of Languages and Literatures.

FALL 2018 Proficiency Exam Dates

Chinese Exam dates: 

September 20, 2018 - 9:30-11:30 -317 Nursing Building

October 24, 2018 - 2:30-4:30 - 203 Sackett Building

December 4, 2018 - 5:00-7:00 - 365 Willard Building



Korean Exam dates:

September 24, 2018 - 3:30-5:30 - 209 Willard Building

October 17, 2018 - 3:30-5:30 - 209 Willard Building

November 26, 2018 - 3:30-5:30 - 209 Willard Building

Hindi Exam dates: 

September 21, 2018 - 11:00-12:00 - 101 Old Botany Building

October 19, 2018 - 11:00-12:00 - 101 Old Botany Building

November 16, 2018 - 11:00-12:00 - 101 Old Botany Building

NOTE a $60 fee must be paid before signing up for the exam at Language Proficiency and you MUST come to 102 Old Botany Building to sign up for the exam.