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Modern Languages

Studying abroadThe mission of the modern languages program is to provide students with abundant opportunities to learn to speak, understand, read, and write other languages. The study of a language different from one's own promotes communication with another culture on its own terms, through its peoples, literatures, histories and experiences of itself as a part of humanity. While such communication has, in an electronic age, been greatly facilitated by technology, real understanding between peoples requires interpersonal knowledge and respect.

Language study opens a door into the diversity of our world, and so forms an important part of a humanities education.

Placement Test and Retroactive Credits: New students may take a placement test to determine their proficiency in French, German, or Spanish and as the first step toward earning retroactive language credits. Click here to take the placement test. Once you reach the website, select Ohio Northern University from the menu and use the password polarbears1. Answer the questions as well as you can, without using a dictionary or other outside help. At the end of the test, you will receive a score that indicates where you should begin language study at ONU. If you have questions or disagree with the score, please consult the instructors for advice.
Alumni Perspectives:

I am currently on tour with Disney’s Beauty and the Beast as part of the ensemble and covering the role of Belle. Each cast member has various opportunities throughout the year to do press events, interviews and publicity for the show. One of our tour stops was the San Diego Civic Theatre in California, only about an hour away from Mexico. A significant portion of the population there speaks only Spanish, so I was asked to do an interview in Spanish about my experience with the show for an online newspaper based in Tijuana. It was a wonderful opportunity to reach out to a community that might not otherwise have had information about the production, much less the chance to see a Broadway style show in their own country. The opportunity to combine my two majors (Spanish and musical theatre) in a way that benefits such a significant part of the population has been incredibly fulfilling!

Mary Beth Donahoe, BFA, Secondary Academic Program/Spanish ’14

When I came to Ohio Northern University as a premed student, I wasn’t sure I wanted to keep studying French because I didn’t want to overwhelm myself, as the premedical curriculum is very demanding. I decided the French minor was something that I wanted to complete and could be beneficial in the future. Balancing French classes along with the premedical curriculum was not as difficult as I had thought, because it was a class I loved. This proved to be extremely beneficial to my premedical career, as part of my studies focused on Médecins Sans Frontières and how this French-based organization is changing health care around the world. In addition, on a medical mission trip to the Dominican Republic, I was able to use some of my French skills to communicate with patients from Haiti. In my medical school interviews, I was asked what I would bring to their institution. Not only was I able to say I was proficient in French, but I was very knowledgeable about different health care systems around the world and offered a culturally unique aspect to medicine through my French studies at ONU. I accepted an offer from the Royal College of Surgeons in Dublin, Ireland, which has a connection to Médecins Sans Frontières, an organization I hope to join one day. You never know where you will end up, and continuing my French studies was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made!

Sabrina Newstead, BS Biology, Minor/French ’16

Studying abroad is the most exciting and fulfilling thing I have done in my life thus far. As a result, I learned a lot about what it means to live the pura vida of the Ticos (what Costa Ricans call themselves) and also a lot about myself.  I now work for KPMG as a public accountant/auditor and I've used my Spanish major in the audits I've visited when we've gone to areas that are primarily Spanish-speaking. 

Tyler Lucian, BSBA, Accounting, Secondary Academic Program/Spanish '15


Video created by: Khadijah Bagais
Video created by: Khadijah Bagais
Department of Modern Languages

Torie Gray-Wright

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