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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 with the fee ($60) paid at Language Proficiency before the examination is administered.  Exam dates are posted on the Asian Studies website.

General exam questions can be sent to Becky Cross () or Mary Price ()

For Chinese Language exam questions,  contact Yupeng Kou ().

For Japanese language exam questions, contact Haruko Iwami (

For Korean language exam questions, contact Lan Kim  (

For Hindi and Bengali exam questions, contact Suchismita Sen (

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

SPRING 2021 Proficiency Exam Dates

Chinese Exam dates: 

SP21 Chinese exam results have been forwarded to respective advisors/record specialists. Please check with your advisor for any further question. No exam will be administered during Summer sessions. For FA21 semester, exam dates/times and registration instructions will be posted on this page AT LEAST two weeks after fall semester begins. No registration requests will be accepted before September, 06, 2021. All exams of FA21 semester will be administered online.


Korean Exam dates:

The Korean Proficiency Exams for Spring 2021 will be held on Zoom on the following dates. To apply for the exam, please read the Korean Exam Registration Instructions in the left side of the screen.

Exam 1: 2/17 Wednesday, 4:00-6:00 PM (EST), Registration closes by 2/12 (Friday) at 4pm (EST).  

Exam 2: 3/17 Wednesday, 4:00-6:00 PM (EST), Registration closes by 3/12 (Friday) at 4pm (EST). 

Exam 3: 4/22 Thursday, 10:00 AM-12:00 PM (EST), Registration closes by 4/19 (Monday) at 4pm (EST). 



Hindi and Bengali Exam dates: 

Spring 2021 Hindi and Bengali proficiency exams on Feb 17, Mar 17, and Apr 14 from 10:30-12:00. Please get in touch with Mary Price ( to complete the registration process.


NOTE a $60 fee must be paid before signing up for the exam at Language Proficiency