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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 Hyun Soon Cho-Min  (

For Hindi and Bengali exam questions, contact Suchismita Sen (

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

FALL 2020 Proficiency Exam Dates


Chinese Exam dates: 

Exam 1: Wednesday, 09/30 at 9-11am (EST). Registration closes by Friday, 09/25 at 4pm (EST).

Exam 2: Tuesday, 10/27 at 8-10pm (EST). Registration closes by Friday, 10/23 at 4pm (EST).

Exam 3: Thursday, 11/19 at 8-10am (EST). Registration closes by Friday, 11/13 at 4pm (EST).

Please make sure you read these instructions very carefully before signing up for an exam. If you have previously paid the fee of $60 but did not receive confirmation/receipt, you should contact the School of Global Languages, Literatures and Cultures to seek help on that.



Korean Exam dates:

Exam 1: 9/30 Wednesday, 4:00-6:00 PM (EST), Registration closes by 09/25 (Friday) at 4pm (EST).

Exam 2: 10/29 Thursday,  9:00-11:00 AM (EST), Registration closes by 10/26 (Monday) at 4pm (EST).

Exam 3: 11/18 Wednesday, 4:00-6:00 PM (EST), Registration closes by 11/13 (Friday) at 4pm (EST).

Please make sure you read these instructions very carefully before signing up for an exam.



Hindi and Bengali Exam dates: The Hindi Proficiency Exams for Fall 2020 will be held on Zoom 2:00-3:00 pm on Sep 30, Oct 28, Nov 18, and Dec 2. 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

Registration Form.pdf

PDF document icon Registration Form.pdf — PDF document, 51 KB (52516 bytes)