University of Wisconsin–Madison

How to learn a language in eight weeks

Taking a course is one way to learn a foreign language. Studying abroad is another. During the summer, UW-Madison also offers a third option: language institutes. Like a study-abroad experience, these intensive programs surround students with the language and culture of a faraway place. The key difference? The learning takes place in a familiar setting: the campus you call home.

This summer, students have enrolled in four Summer Language Institutes:

Students participating in a group meal hosted by the Language Institutes

Undergraduates, graduate students, and professionals share an on-campus living space as they learn Arabic, Persian, or Turkish. Participants commit to using their chosen language inside and outside of the classroom, at everything from meals to sports tournaments.

Kazakh, Tajik, Uyghur, and Uzbek are the focus of this transformative institute, which includes eight weeks of language classes. Lectures, movie screenings, and other cultural enrichment activities explore the history and customs of places where people speak these languages.

Students and faculty from schools all over the country join forces to learn one of 12 South Asian languages, from Bengali to Hindi. After receiving 20 hours of instruction each week, these learners are ready to take their language skills abroad for work or further study.

Participants from across the United States—and the world—learn how to read, write, and speak a foreign language through classes, films, music, and more. They study languages such as Burmese, Filipino, and Khmer in small groups, through individualized activities led by experienced instructors and linguists.