BISP Special Focus: Language and Culture

BISP Special Focus Program Overview

The BISP Special Focus in Language and Culture is a great option for students studying foreign languages, humanities, international relations, linguistics, and a variety of other subject areas, as well as for students who are looking for a focused set of courses to complement their language learning. 

In this BISP Special Focus topic, we recognize that one of the best ways to get a fully immersive experience in language learning is to also learn about the cultures that speak those languages. With this in mind, we have the opportunity for students to select courses that match the language they wish to learn. UC Berkeley offers instruction in more than 60 different languages, and countless additional courses are offered related to the regions in which these languages are spoken. There is a great deal of flexibility in this topic, especially for students who may already be at the intermediate or advanced level in the language, so please talk to an advisor early to explore additional course options which may be available to you.

Learning Goals

By pursuing this BISP Special Focus topic, you will gain:

  • UC Berkeley academic credit in a focused set of courses tailored to your interests in language and culture.
  • Faculty guidance on a culminating certificate project in which you will synthesize learnings and insight gained in your coursework and research at UC Berkeley.
  • Research and analytical skills through approaching language and culture from multiple perspectives.
  • Communication and presentation skills through your participation in the BISP Special Focus program and coursework.

Sample Courses

  • South and Southeast Asian Languages (sample courses for a single language of choice)
    • One Language: Introductory Hindi
      • Two Culture:  Introduction to the Civilization of Early India
      • Cross-Cultural Communication
  • Italian Language (sample courses for a single language of choice)
    • One Language:  Italian (elementary, intermediate, or advanced)
      • Two Culture: European Civilization from the Renaissance to the Present
      • Italian Culture

For a more comprehensive list of pre-approved courses for the BISP Special Focus in Language and Culture see the longer list here.