Language study at UMF is designed to encourage oral and written communication, cultural understanding, and study abroad. UMF has long standing and exciting bilateral exchanges with universities in China and France, and a thriving Semester in France program in Le Mans, France. Our students have also studied in Spain and Mexico, and in a variety of other countries.

Students interested in languages and cultures can major in International Studies or select a concentration in French or Spanish in the Elementary Education major. International Studies majors take 20 credits in one language and study abroad for a semester or equivalent. Education majors take 20 credits in French or Spanish and complete their requirements in the Education Department. Our students have often described their experience abroad as the highlight of their studies at UMF. Students also have the opportunity minor in French or Spanish.

UMF is unique in the system in hosting Language Assistants from China, France, and Mexico who interact with students in classes and in the French, Spanish, and International clubs.

Our program features small classes, in which students develop important skills in speaking, writing, critical thinking, and detailed analyses of literature and film. Professors and students get to know each other well which enhances learning.

Graduates of the International Studies program go on to a wide range of positions in both the private and the public sector, and to graduate or law school.  Graduates of the new Education major with language concentrations find easy employment in the schools.

What our students say:

“I started law school at UMaine at the end of August and I love it.  I feel that UMF has prepared me well.  My Civil Procedure class is taught a lot like French I, and as a result I am having a bit of an easier time than some other students.  (There are actually a lot of analogies between learning a language and law school)… I also hope students are interested in going to Le Mans this year.  I always knew how great an opportunity it was but it just dawned on my recently how truly affordable the whole program was!”

Elyse Wilkinson is an International Studies Major who spent one semester at Université du Maine in France and one at the University of Salamanca in Spain .

Dear French and/or Spanish Students:

Make sure you belong in the class you registered for. If you’ve had 2 or more years in high school, you should take the placement test. It’s very easy. It takes less than one hour and can be taken online at any time. Be aware that Main Street will not let you register into FRE/SPA 102 or 201 without the prerequisites. Contact  Debra Kinney (Roberts 118) or Shari Witham (Roberts 209A) so that they can register you in FRE/SPA 102 or 201. Their e-mails are:;


Placement credits can only be awarded for K-12 language courses.  If you have taken any language university classes, this placement exam does not apply to you. Depending on previous language experience in K-12, you may earn up to eight credits for the courses you skip.  These credits are awarded upon successful completion (grade of C or better) of the course into which you place.  If you pass the language 102 level, you will receive an additional four credits for language 101 as transfer credits.  If you pass the 201 level, you will get an additional 8 credits for Language 101 and 102 as transfer credits.  (You do not have to pay any tuition for the placement credits.  There is, however, a $15.00 fee when placement credits are posted.  In borderline cases you should contact your language instructor for advice with proper placement.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions:


Linda Britt


 Click Here to take the Foreign Language Placement Exam