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For more information, please contact the Chair of the Modern Languages and Literature Department:

Dr. Alva Cellini
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(716) 375-2466
Plassmann 206-G7

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What Can I Do With This Major?

Students in Spain
Students on a five-week Spanish immersion program in Salamanca, Spain. Modern language majors are strongly encouraged to participate in a study abroad program. See more photos on our SBU Flickr site.


Competency in a foreign language is one of the hallmarks of the liberally educated person. The Department of Modern Languages and Literature offers:

Studying a second or third language allows the individual to communicate with people of foreign countries on their own terms and to gain firsthand, authentic knowledge of foreign cultures by allowing entrance into their world of expression and thought.

The study of another language not only opens up a foreign culture for students and gives them an acquaintance with an unfamiliar set of language conventions and forms, it also provides a contrast against which their own cultural and linguistic conventions can be perceived and better understood.

We live in an age in which the effective interaction with foreign nations is essential not only for economic prosperity, but also for mutual survival. Consequently, it is very important that students gain the skills and knowledge necessary to deal successfully with nations of differing cultural heritages.

The study of foreign language is a crucial step toward the establishment of positive lines of communication among the world’s nations.

At St. Bonaventure, all graduates of the schools of Arts & Sciences, Communication and Education must satisfy a foreign language requirement.

Get fundamental language skills and much more

Majors and non-majors in modern languages receive a grounding in the fundamental skills of the languages: speaking, listening comprehension, reading and writing in humanistic oriented courses. There is special emphasis on everyday culture of the foreign country as well.

In addition, Spanish majors take advanced courses in conversation and composition, literature and full-semester courses in culture and civilization. Non-majors are also free to enroll in the more advanced courses if their language background warrants it.

Furthermore, the department counsels students on career opportunities in conjunction with the university's Career and Professional Readiness Center, works with the School of Education to prepare teachers of foreign languages, and has an effective placement program for students wishing to study abroad.

Our computer-assisted instruction programs complement in-class study.

Study Abroad Opportunities

Modern language majors are strongly encouraged to spend a semester or year overseas. St. Bonaventure University oversees study opportunities in non-English speaking environments:
  • a program of study in Spanish language, liberal arts and business at the International Institute in Seville and the University of Seville is available.
  • A similar program in Italy is also available to qualified students. Program locations are Rome, Florence and Venice. 
  • In France three locations, Avignon, Toulon and Aix-en-Provence, offer students the choice of language immersion, business courses or a liberal arts curriculum.
  • One short-term study abroad program is offered in Salamanca, Spain.
These programs are offered to non-majors as well.

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