Skip to main content Skip to footer site map
Languages and Cultures Department
Tea Ceremony


As a Midshipman

Summer Study Abroad

The Language Study Abroad Program, managed by the Languages and Cultures Department, provides midshipmen who have completed at least two years of a foreign language with opportunities to gain first-hand knowledge of foreign people, their cultures and their worldviews, through total language immersion. It includes 4- or 6-week university summer sessions, study tours, exchange visits with foreign naval academies, and limited translator-intern duties. Host countries for study abroad include China, France, Senegal, Germany, Japan, Latvia, Oman, Chile, Mexico, and Spain.

Semester Study Abroad

Semester study abroad is available to midshipmen through the International Programs Office. All qualified Arabic and Chinese majors will participate in the semester study abroad program.

Other Travel Opportunities

Midshipmen with foreign language proficiency also have the opportunity to participate in foreign exchange cruises, to attend international conferences of service academies, and to serve as interns in U.S. embassies abroad.

Activities at USNA

The Languages and Cultures Department is actively involved in the Naval Academy Regional Studies Forums – the Middle East Forum, the Africa Forum, the Asia-Pacific Forum, the Eurasia Forum, and the Latin America Forum – supporting lectures, presentations, and cultural activities with a regional focus, and bringing outside experts into contact with the Naval Academy Community. 

After Graduation

Scholarships for Graduate Study Abroad

Olmsted Scholarships permit U.S. military officers to pursue graduate study for two years at a foreign university in a foreign language. Each year one or two officer graduates from each of the three major service academies (the Naval Academy, the Air Force Academy, and West Point) are selected to become Olmsted Scholars after having completed 3 to 10 years of commissioned service.

The Otto A. Zipf Scholarship offers one graduate of each Naval Academy class in the Navy Unrestricted Line or in the Marine Corps an opportunity to study for two years at the graduate level at the Ruprecht-Karl-University of Heidelberg in Heidelberg, Germany. The scholarship usually begins in the summer following graduation from the Naval Academy.

Assignments and Foreign Language Proficiency Bonus

The Navy and the Marine Corps have greatly increased opportunities for Foreign Area Officers in recent years. For some languages, graduates may receive foreign language proficiency pay.

go to Top