Not infrequently, we read application essays that describe an interest in studying languages while at Fletcher. Depending on how much detail the applicant provides, we may sense that there’s a mismatch between what Fletcher offers and what the applicant is looking for. Fletcher is not foremost a graduate school for cultural or language study, though many students certainly have a regional focus for their coursework or their career objectives. Our assumption is that you’re going to arrive at Fletcher with proficiency in the language(s) you need for your studies and career. At the very least, we expect you to have skills strong enough to pass the language exam, which is a requirement for graduation. (If you’re close, but not quite proficient enough, we may make your admission conditional upon completion of an intensive language program.)
But that doesn’t mean that Fletcher students have no opportunity for language study. Students may petition to take up to two language courses as part of their curriculum, and there are good reasons why someone would want to do so. Let’s say that your focus is East Asia and you speak Mandarin. You might want to acquire Japanese skills for your future career. Using two of your credits for language courses, in that case, makes perfect sense.
If you want to develop your language skills, but don’t want to use course credits to do so, you may decide to audit a class. The building that houses the University’s two language departments (the Department of Romance Languages and the Department of German, Russian and Asian Languages) is conveniently located right next to Fletcher, making it easy to dash over for classes. The meaning of “audit” is between you and the instructor, and you may want to commit yourself to completing more or fewer of the class assignments.
Less formally, if what you’re looking for is a chance to keep up your skills, you may find fellow students who will want to join you. Every year, students establish Chinese/French/Swahili/Russian/other study groups, where they might gather for coffee and a little exercise of the part of the brain that controls languages.
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