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student Alicia Smith in Strasbourg 2018

Foreign Language Study: Detailed Guidance

This page provides detailed guidance on foreign language study for International Studies majors. You may find it helpful to read our general guidance on this topic first.


Students majoring in International Studies must successfully complete foreign language coursework through the intermediate level or demonstrate equivalent proficiency (for details, see the complete policy on the Foreign Language Requirement). Students should begin working as early as possible toward the completion of this requirement.

Placement and Retroactive Credit in Chinese, Spanish and French

Those with previous experience in Chinese, French or Spanish may be able to skip coursework, and optionally receive credit for some of the courses bypassed, by placing at a higher level. For details, see the Policy on Placement and Retroactive Credit.

To take the free online placement test in French or Spanish, contact the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures. If you have studied Chinese in the past, please contact Professor Yongan Wu.

Foreign Language Study Abroad

The Department of Language, Literatures and Cultures offers language and culture immersion programs in China, France and Spain. For more information, contact the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures  

UNF also offers exchange programs at universities around the world through which students can potentially do language coursework, or upper-level content-area coursework taught in languages other than English. For more information, see our page about Study Abroad.

Students who intend to do foreign language coursework abroad through other programs than those offered by the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures should review the section "Note Regarding Language Coursework Taken Abroad" on our page about Study Abroad.

Minoring/Double Majoring in a Foreign Language

Minors in ChineseFrench and Spanish at UNF require only three upper-level courses after Intermediate II. Any student (including native/heritage speakers) who places at the 3000-level can complete the minor in the respective language by passing just three 3000/4000-level courses and requesting retroactive credit for the intermediate level. Those minoring in Chinese, French or Spanish can potentially double-count those three upper-level courses between that minor and the major in International Studies.

The majors in Spanish and French Studies overlap significantly with the program of study for International Studies, and students can double-count up to six courses (18 credit hours) between the two majors. See our page on Double Majors/Dual Degrees for more information.

Courses Designed Specifically for Native/Heritage Speakers of Spanish 

Native/heritage speakers of Spanish should consider the following courses, which address linguistic and cultural topics of interest to Hispanics in the United States: 



Either can count as a valid elective for International Studies. For more information, contact Constanza L√≥pez, associate professor of Spanish. 

Studying Languages Other than Chinese, French and Spanish 

The Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures has degree programs and full-time faculty in Chinese, French and Spanish. Those languages are therefore taught consistently through the intermediate level at UNF. Students who desire to pursue coursework in a language besides Chinese, French or Spanish must first meet with Dr. Greg Helmick, the chair of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, for guidance and approval. Such a student must also complete and submit the document titled "Request for Permission to Fulfill International Studies Language Requirement with a Language Other than Chinese, French or Spanish" found on the Forms page in the Canvas Site of the International Studies Program prior to beginning such language study. This process is designed to protect students from the potential financial consequences and logistical difficulties of attempting to meet the language requirement by studying a language not consistently taught through the intermediate level at UNF.

Although German may be offered at the beginning and intermediate level at UNF, students seeking to study German must also fill out this request. This is because UNF does not offer any degree programs in German or have any full-time permanent faculty in German, and the teaching of that language on campus is therefore contingent. The International Business Flagship Program offers a study abroad program in Bad Mergentheim, Germany, through which students can potentially earn credit for Beginning German II, Intermediate German I and Intermediate German II. For more information, contact Alyssa Kyff in the office of Coggin Study Abroad. A student participating in that program would still be required to complete the "Request for Permission to Fulfill International Studies Language Requirement with a Language Other than Chinese, French or Spanish" form mentioned above.

For further assistance, contact Dr.  Greg Helmick, chair, Languages, Literatures and Cultures, and associate professor of Spanish; Clayton McCarl, associate professor of Spanish; or Yongan Wu, associate professor of Chinese.