Modern Languages

In an increasingly connected global world, there are ever-expanding opportunities available to those fluent in more than one language.

Wells' minors in French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish guarantee that students will not only gain fluency in another language, but they will research, explore, and even experience firsthand the rich cultures associated with these languages. Memorable inter-cultural campus events and the College's broad selection of study abroad programs give opportunities to develop your knowledge of other nations and travel around the world.

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students on stage for german language presentation
florence, italy skyline
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Wells' minor in French introduces students to France and Francophone culture by focusing on participation and real-life language use. Introductory courses develop comprehension, speaking, reading and writing and emphasize a knowledge of significant cultural practices and historical events. Intermediate classes provide students with guided research projects, lend frequent opportunities to communicate in French both orally and in writing, and provide a chance to develop an appreciation for the rich history and culture of French-speaking nations.

This program is available as a minor.


German-speaking countries are part of the leading economies, and their cultural heritages have influenced people all over the world. About 98,000,000 people worldwide speak German – the second most-employed language in the European Union. In Wells' German program, students speak, read, write, and understand German; learn about current cultural and political trends; plan, execute, present, and reflect on a self-designed project; devise short papers and presentations in German; and participate in the FU-BEST study abroad program in Berlin.

This program is available as a minor.


Explore the beautiful and vast culture of a multi-dimensional country. Students in the Italian program learn how to read, write, speak, and listen to the language; expand their education through partnerships with local institutions; and even participate in a pen pal project with Italian schools. The study abroad program in Florence's Lorenzo de'Medici Institute allows students from almost any major to immerse themselves in the Italian culture by staying with an Italian family or living in apartments with students from all around the world.

This program is available as a minor.


The Japanese language program will enhance your enjoyment of Japan and it's people while helping you gain a solid foundation in the language. Converse directly with our Japanese exchange students who work as the teacher's assistants. Join in cultural events such as the Japanese tea ceremony, a concert/workshop by a Taiko drum troupe, a Japanese home-style cooking workshop, a Hinamatsuri Girls Day celebration, and mochi pounding. Additionally, Wells offers the option to study in Japan at partner universities in Kyoto or Tokyo.

This program is available as a minor.


Spanish is currently Wells' only Modern Languages program offered as a major. Read more about studying Spanish at Wells.

This program is available as a major or a minor.

Additional Opportunities

Most Wells students participate in at least one internship before graduating, gaining essential hands-on experience in a professional setting. Recent students with language experience have held internships including:

  • Technische Chemie, Universität Duisburg-Essen, Germany
  • Colegio Juan de Lanuza, Zaragoza, Spain
  • Nambu Board of Education, Minamikoma-gun Yamanashi-ken, Japan
  • Colonie Central High School (Italian language classes), Albany, NY
  • 2-2-1 Tampa Bay Cares, Inc. (Spanish translation), Clearwater, FL
  • DREAM Project (social work, English and Spanish assistance), Ithaca, NY
  • Rochester Museum and Science Center (Japanese stenographic art curation), Rochester, NY

"Wells has given me incredible opportunities to get involved and not only learn from my professors but also from my peers. Some of the most insightful conversations I have had have been in the dining hall or on my way to class. At Wells the learning doesn't end at the classroom door."

David Glidden '16
Political Science Major, President of POWER, President of SAGA, President of SECS Collective
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Creative Connections

Choosing a minor in a language can add extra specialization to your major program, opening up career paths around the world. For example, an Education major could find themselves teaching English abroad; a student in our Political Science program may discover an interest in international politics; or a Business major might find a knowledge of world cultures and language very beneficial when exploring potential markets.

In fact, nearly every Wells major could benefit from an international focus. Students who are interested in a language minor can speak with their faculty advisors about the many ways it can add to their education and experience.


Wells College promises a relevant liberal arts and sciences education. Intellectually challenging. Reinterpreted for today. Classroom teaching combined with hands-on learning. Wells graduates enter the world prepared for successful futures.

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