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Study Abroad Office


Volunteer teaches foreign alphabet to children at Peace Corp Week. (Courtesy of Peace Corp)

Foreign Language Skills

The second Core Competency helps you to build foreign language skills since working across cultures often entails verbal and nonverbal languages distinct from your own.

Where Would You Like to Serve?

PC Prep minimum course requirements align with those needed by applicants to the Peace Corps itself, which vary by linguistic region.

  • Latin America: If you want to serve in a Spanish-speaking country, you must apply with strong intermediate proficiency. This typically means completing two 200-level courses through the Spanish department.
  • West AfricaIf you want to serve in a French-speaking African country, you should be proficient in French (or, in some cases, any Romance Language), usually through one 200-level course through the French department.
  • Everywhere else: The Peace Corps has no explicit language requirements for individuals applying to serve in most other countries. However, you will still likely learn and utilize another language during service, so it is helpful to have taken at least one foreign language class through the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures.

Note: If you are a strong native speaker and want to serve in a country that speaks your same language, you can skip this requirement!