Wesleyan has had connections to the rest of the world from its founding in 1831. Among its first faculty members was Jacob F. Huber, a Swiss man hired to teach French, Italian, and German, and as early as 1835 the “Missionary Lyceum” society at the University resolved to dispatch missionaries to China. Admittedly, and in keeping with the explicitly Methodist mission of the University in these decades, the motivation for much of this early concern was to Christianize the rest of the world.

Much has changed over the almost two centuries since then. This working document assembles historical information about many aspects of Wesleyan’s engagement with the world, taking the wide scope of the Fries Center for Global Studies as its guide. It thus encompasses the teaching of languages and cultures; study abroad by Wesleyan students — including the establishment of Wesleyan programs abroad — and the growing presence of international students among the Wesleyan student body; exchanges, fellowships, and other opportunities for members of the Wesleyan community to learn and research away from Middletown; and so on. The staff of the Fries Center hope that knowledge of this history can help to inform Wesleyan’s continued development as an outstanding institution of globally informed, intercultural learning.

Working Committees: 

2008: Work Group on Internationalization

  1. What does it mean for Wesleyan to be “internationalized”?
  2. What resources need to be in place to support a substantial expansion of the number of international students on campus

2011: CILLC (Committee Classical Languages, Literatures, and Cultures?)

  1. Examine the contributions made to Wesleyan by departments of languages, literatures, and cultures
  2. Explore and review the configuration at other institutions for the instruction of languages, literatures and cultures

Language and Culture Programs

Central to constructive engagement with any part of the world is a knowledge of its language(s) and culture(s), and so we begin with a regionally organized look at Wesleyans programs in these areas over the years.

History of the Area Studies

Study Abroad (including Programs Abroad)

More info coming soon!