The ability to communicate in a foreign language and the acquaintance with a foreign culture should be part of the background of educated persons, particularly those with a sense of world mission. The objective of the department is to develop competence and proficiency in the ability to understand, speak, read, and write a foreign language and to provide a deepened understanding and appreciation of the literature and culture of other people. With the expansion of the world trade as a core component of globalization, new horizons are opening up in geopolitics, environmental issues, technology, and culture. Strong language and cross-cultural skills give students of language and culture a powerful advantage for meeting the opportunities this changing world offers.

Walla Walla University is a member of the Adventist Colleges Abroad (ACA) consortium. Foreign language majors are required to spend one year (three quarters) in a study abroad program, typically the sophomore or junior year.Academic credit will be granted for these studies so that a student may be able to complete a full college year abroad. Prospective ACA students must have completed one year of college French, German, or Spanish or the equivalent with a grade-point average of 3.00. Most language minors are required to spend a minimum of one quarter of study abroad at the intermediate level. Applicants should consult with their major professors, the Department of Communication and Languages, and the Registrar prior to enrollment.

A student planning to teach should confer with their assigned academic advisor and with the School of Education and Psychology in regard to certification and teaching credentials.