Spanish is the third most widely-spoken language in the world. As such, a Spanish major or minor combines well with other majors and minors, especially international business, biology and social work. The Spanish program encourages students to participate in service projects with the local Latino community (one of the largest, per capita, in Iowa). Spanish students often join the BV Buddies mentoring program to work with local Hispanic middle school students, as well as help put on the annual local Fiesta Latina celebration. After taking BVU's Spanish placement test, if you receive a B or above in the class in which you are placed, you receive credit for the two previous Spanish courses in sequence.
The Spanish program has offered January-term travel courses with language-study components in Costa Rica and Mexico.
The Japanese program provides beginning and intermediate instruction in Japanese reading, writing, speaking and listening skills in small classes taught by a native speaker. Other opportunities include optional, supplemental language tables, the opportunity for individualized advanced study and a course in Japanese culture. The program has an active student exchange program with Hokusei Gakuen University in Sapporo, Japan, through which BVU students can earn a Japanese minor.
BVU has a partnership with the Taipei Language Institute (TLI) in Taiwan, which sends a native-speaking professor every year to the University to teach Chinese language classes. The program offers basic courses - with small class sizes and personalized attention - in spoken Mandarin, written characters and calligraphy. Students can combine these courses with a semester abroad to earn a Chinese minor.