World Languages at GW

Welcome, Aloha, Bienvenue, Bienvenida, "Welcome" in other world languages

Language is a vital tool for understanding how we understand ourselves and the world in which we live.  At GW, we are committed to giving our students a broad array of language-study options, with 17 languages taught in-house and even more offered through the partnerships with Washington-area universities. If students want to study the language where it's spoken, we also have dozens of study abroad programs that include language training. Our students regularly—and successfully—compete for prestigious opportunities like the State Department's Critical Language Scholarships.  


Languages Taught at GW


  • American Sign Language

  • Arabic

  • Chinese

  • English

  • French

  • German


  • Greek

  • Hebrew

  • Italian

  • Japanese

  • Korean

  • Latin


  • Persian

  • Portuguese

  • Russian

  • Spanish

  • Turkish

Language Classes Available to GW Students Through Consortium Schools


  • Amharic

  • Haitian Creole

  • Irish

  • Polish


  • Swahili

  • Wolof

  • Yoruba

  • Zulu

More Opportunities

Student dining with her home-stay family

Critical Language Scholarships

The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program is a fully-funded overseas language and cultural immersion program for American undergraduate and graduate students. With the goal of broadening the base of Americans studying and mastering critical languages and building relationships between the people of the United States and other countries, CLS provides study opportunities to a diverse range of students from across the United States at every level of language learning.


Boren Scholarships

The National Security Education Program Boren Undergraduate Scholarships provide funding for U.S. undergraduate students to study less commonly taught languages in world regions critical to U.S. security interests, including Africa, Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East. 

Boren Scholars represent a vital pool of highly motivated individuals who wish to work in the federal national security arena. In exchange for funding, Boren Scholars commit to working in the federal government for at least one year after graduation.

Graphic of world map made of language clouds

Foreign Language Area Studies

GW’s Sigur Center for Asian Studies, Institute for Korean Studies, and Institute for Middle East Studies have been awarded more than 90 Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships which support undergraduate and graduate students studying modern foreign languages and related area or international studies.