Languages at BYU
Many factors contribute to the diversity and depth of language expertise at BYU. About 70 percent of BYU students speak a language other than their native tongue. Six percent of the student body is from outside the United States, representing more than 110 countries. Additionally, approximately 50 percent of the students at BYU have served church missions, with many gaining fluency in a second language. The variety of language skills among the student body allows the university to provide a rich forum for language instruction.
More than 55 languages are taught regularly, with an additional 30 languages available with sufficient student interest-among the most offered anywhere in the country. The number of enrollments in language courses at BYU equals 32 percent of the student body, compared to the national average of 9 percent. The prior experience of most of the students allows for a higher standard of instruction, using the language to teach other subjects-literature, history, culture-as well as to enhance their opportunities outside the lab and classroom.
In addition to offering language courses, the College of Humanities provides an opportunity for students to enhance and refine their language skills in its Foreign Language Student Residence Program, where students live in university housing while learning one of nine languages. BYU's Center for Language Studies offers intensive summer language courses and advanced courses in less-common languages, such as Finnish, Ukrainian and Vietnamese.