Languages and Cultures

The study of another language is an adventure, an exploration into the workings of minds both like and unlike our own. When we learn a new language, we learn to see differently -- we acquire a new perspective from which to view both ourselves and the world.

Department News & Events

Sunday, 19 April 1015   Student Excursion to the Minneapolis Institute of Art for the Habsburg Exhibit

Submitted by Lisa Ohm

Over sixty students, faculty members and staff from CSB/SJU had the opportunity to see the special exhibit, “Habsburg Splendor: Masterpieces form Vienna’s Imperial Collections” on April 19th. This spring’s Austrian Studies Newsletter described the selection of art treasures from Austria’s National Museum of Art History in Vienna “utterly breathtaking.”  

One of the students called the 100 objects in the exhibit “exquisite,” a word he admittedly seldom uses.

The Habsburgs were great collectors of art and sculptures, especially from parts of France, Spain and the Netherlands, which were at one time provinces in the extensive Habsburg Empire, which lasted for 600 years. Chronologically arranged, the exhibit gives visitors a sense of the Habsburg Empire from the Middle Ages to its end in 1918. Among the treasures are Greek and Roman antiquities, paintings, decorative pieces, court costumes, armor, and horse-drawn carriages and sleds.

The first female director of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, Sabine Haag, is very interested in partnering with U.S. museums to bring international exposure to Austrian art collections and develop future exchanges on the importance of art.

Students from Sarah Bavelli’s Art History course; students from the 2014 and 2015 Austria Study Abroad Groups and their directors, Lisa Ohm and Jim Read and Director of the Center for Global Education, Joe Rogers; students from German courses; and students seeking a worthwhile learning experience filled the buses. MIA encourages student groups with free entry and free guides. Participants exchanged views on the exhibit at the nearby Black Forest Inn over a buffet lunch of Wurst, Sauerkraut, Kartoffelsalad, Maultasche, and “Sachertorte” for dessert. Transportation and lunch were supported by the Art Department and the Office of Education Abroad.

Audio guides are available. The exhibit is open until May 10th and then travels to Houston and Atlanta.

L-R: Jack Paal, Will Ornburg, Tori Kubinski, Jon Vogel, Andrew Sweere

Elizabeth Shelerud, Charlotte Waterhouse, Sarah Wachter and Beth Richmond

Sarah Bavelli's art students at the Black Forest Inn.

New publication by Wendy Sterba


Congratulations to Wendy Sterba, Professor of German Studies, on the publication of her new book, Reel Photos: Balancing Art and Truth in Contemporary Film, by Rowman and Littlefield. "In her book, Sterba provides an innovative approach to cinema studies by examining the function of the photograph in movies rather than the role of film photography as art."

Her book is now available in the SJU Bookstore.


 Archived News and Events

Overview of Program

Courses in the Languages and Cultures Department:

  • Include instruction in French, German, Greek, Latin, Chinese, Japanese, and English as a Second Language.
  • Fulfill one of the requirements for a liberal arts degree
  • Are easily combined with other majors and minors
Meet one of our alumni

Lizzy Baden '12, French and Peace Studies major, will be in Indonesia for the academic year 2014-2015 for the Fulbright!

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Visit our blog!

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Placement Exams

Click here for instructions for the French and German placement exams.

For information on placement exams for Latin, Greek, Japanese and Chinese, contact Mary at

Contact Us

Lisa Ohm
Department Chair
Richarda P16, CSB
(320) 363-5754

Mary Niedenfuer
Department Coordinator
CSB Richarda P15
(320) 363-5067
SJU Quad 253A
(320) 363-3093