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Languages & Cultural Studies

The School of Professional & Continuing Studies offers classes and programs focused on the study of languages and cultures.

Our classes and programs cover American and non-American languages, histories, politics, society and cultures.

We offer classes in the following categories within Languages and Cultural Studies. Not all categories are offered every semester.

  • Languages: American Sign Language (ASL), English (for English language learners), French, Italian, Spanish
  • History: Richmond history and cultural heritage
  • Cultural Enrichment: Weekend classes designed especially for international au pairs

UR Au Pair

The UR Au Pair program helps international au pairs fulfill their required annual educational credits while immersing themselves in the rich cultural traditions of Richmond, Virginia.

Upcoming Courses

Courses

NEW! Students will explore Canadian folk artist Maud Lewis, and her world of bright bold colors and tranquil outdoor scenes of flowers, birds, skaters, deer, cats, and horses pulling sleighs. Movie scenes reminiscent of the landscape of Digby, Nova Scotia portray her quiet world of purpose and the tiny home where she paints flowers and stems on walls, shelves, chairs, and even the stove. Inspired to put a few paintings up for sale, Maudie becomes world-famous.


November 8, 9, 10. Friday 6-9pm; Saturday 9am-6pm; Sunday 9am-6pm
Drop in on the totally unconventional, unforgettable life and couture of Coco Chanel, the modern woman's designer, to illustrate a very personal and unique style of your own. Using film clips, quotes, and a study of multiple online resources, participants will explore Chanel's hope and conviction, the fashion industry, and illustrate a personal portfolio of designs. Recommended reading, journaling, and sketching assignments will enhance the experience. (NOTE: For au pairs, this course offers English language lessons as part of the class content.)


Every week on Wednesday, starting on 09/18/19 and ending on 10/23/19
This film earned eight Academy Award nominations and won six, including Best Art. It is ranked number nine among AFI's Greatest Movie Musicals. The 17-minute ballet sequence, with sets and costumes referencing master French painters, serves as the film's climax. The film is about an ex-GI (Gene Kelly) who stays behind in Paris after the end of WWII to become a reputable painter when both opportunity and love come knocking.


September 27, 28, 29. Friday 6-9pm; Saturday 9am-6pm; Sunday 9am-6pm, SPB, Room 204
This fun and educational weekend combines classroom sessions and cultural experiences in Richmond. We will visit historical locations in Richmond, such as the Jefferson Hotel, and enjoy class lessons which may include: business writing, professional etiquette, meditation techniques for personal wellness, famous artists/American film, and more. All materials and admission fees to museums/excursions are included. Come join us for a memorable weekend, while earning your au pair credits!


December 6, 7, 8. Friday 4-8pm; Saturday 10am-6pm; Sunday 10am-6pm
Considering having your DNA tested? Have you had your DNA tested and now are unsure of what to do with the results? These are often questions asked about this expanding area of genealogy. This session will address these questions, providing a basic understanding of what your results can - or cannot - provide for you. It will also help you decide which tests you may need and provide guidance on how to use your test results.


Every week on Saturday, starting on 10/26/19 and ending on 10/26/19
The internet is a vast source of genealogy information about your ancestors: if you just know where and how to look for it. This is a hands-on class that gives you experience researching your family.


Every week on Saturday, starting on 11/09/19 and ending on 11/16/19
Guest service is the heart and soul of hospitality, and every hospitality employee, no matter his/her job, needs to have a foundation in guest service. Statistics show exceptional guest service by employees is rewarded with increased guest spending, positive word-of-mouth advertising, and repeat guest business. This course introduces seven key elements required to deliver the highest levels of service: invest in the success of your professional career with Guest Service GoldŽ Hospitality Training!


Every week on Sunday, starting on 11/03/19 and ending on 11/10/19
Explore a fun and educational weekend of learning and practicing special topics in public speaking and presentation skills. This is a wonderful opportunity to improve your communication abilities and develop your confidence in speaking during your time in the US. A variety of written and oral activities are planned for on campus sessions. Course fee includes materials and certificate of completion.


October 11, 12, 13. Friday 4-8pm; Saturday 9am-6pm; Sunday 9am-6pm
In these American Sign Language (ASL) classes you will learn fingerspelling, counting, and basic signs such as 'How are you,' non-manual signals (NMS), and how to convert English into ASL. Sessions include fun, hands-on activities which will enable you to communicate with our deaf community. Classes are taught by local organization ASL Champs. This is a beginner class and eligible for CEUs; books are included in tuition.


Every week on Tuesday, starting on 09/17/19 and ending on 10/08/19, BUS, Room 115
In these American Sign Language (ASL) classes you will learn fingerspelling, counting, and basic signs such as 'How are you,' non-manual signals (NMS), and how to convert English into ASL. Sessions include fun, hands-on activities which will enable you to communicate with our deaf community. Classes are taught by local organization ASL Champs. This is a continuation of Beginner I and is eligible for CEUs; books are included in tuition.


Every week on Tuesday, starting on 10/22/19 and ending on 11/12/19
This class offers language training and practice in English pronunciation, conversation, reading, and writing. Special attention will be given to U.S. Celebrations and comparisons with students' home countries. (Class is designed for English levels beginner to intermediate. Book included for all students.)


Every week on Monday, starting on 11/04/19 and ending on 12/02/19
This course is designed for beginners. Students will learn the basics of pronunciation, vocabulary, and useful phrases. Explore a new language this semester with our beginner level French!


Every week on Tuesday, starting on 09/17/19 and ending on 10/08/19, BUS, Queally Room Q271
This course is a continuation of Beginning French. Students will deepen their comprehension of the French language. Students will also improve their speaking skills through a variety of authentic situations.


Every week on Tuesday, starting on 11/05/19 and ending on 11/26/19
If you have been hesitant about attempting to learn a new language, now it is time to try it! Learning Spanish could be a valuable asset for you. In this course we will learn the foundation of the language, covering basic grammar, pronunciation, and vocabulary as well as an introduction to the Spanish culture.


Every week on Tuesday, starting on 10/22/19 and ending on 11/19/19
Did you take Spanish in high school or college and you want to refresh your skills? Are you pursuing a new challenge professionally and want to use your Spanish-speaking skills? This course is a continuation of Spanish for Beginners I. It is intended for students who want to refresh their basic skills in Spanish or further their knowledge of the Spanish language by acquiring new vocabulary and building confidence in speaking and comprehension.


Every week on Thursday, starting on 09/12/19 and ending on 10/10/19, BUS, Room 223
This course is for students with intermediate Spanish skills who are ready to practice speaking more. We will also focus on understanding Spanish expressions and more advanced vocabulary, as well as listening to and watching Spanish films/media to increase your skills. Course combines Conversation, Cultura, and 'Cine.' Take your Spanish to the next level!


Every week on Tuesday, starting on 11/26/19 and ending on 12/17/19