Language programs

UNCG's Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures (LLC) houses 9 language programs in ASL, Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Korean, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish (soon to be 6, now that Chinese, Korean, and Russian are on the "doomed" list...).

LLC strives to:

🔥 💸 All available data indicate that LLC is a money-maker for the university and should not be targeted for cuts! 💵 🔥

Student & Alum Spotlight

Studying abroad in South Korea

Tayla Holt

Tayla Holt, proudly sporting a UNCG t-shirt, poses on top of a mountain in Geoje City. The pictureque coastal city is located on an island near Busan, on the southern end of South Korea.

Hannah Hook

UNCG student Hannah Hook (right) and a friend visited the Kyungbok Palace in Seoul, South Korea. Built in 1395, the former royal palace now houses museums.

Truly Morgan

While studying at Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul, UNCG student Truly Morgan (second from right) poses with friends at the entrance of the Seoguram Grotto in Kyungju City.

Languages open doors and change lives -- just ask alums!

"Relationships between countries are dependent on cross-cultural understanding and collaboration"

-- Raney Allen (Class of 2022), B.A. in International & Global Studies with a minor in Chinese

To whom it may concern,

My name is Raney Allen and I am an alumna of UNCG. I graduated in 2022, and I have worked in education since then. I was proud to have earned a minor in Chinese and taken many Chinese courses as my main language of study to complete my International and Global Studies major. 

I am writing to you because I recently heard that the Chinese minor is on the list of programs that may be discontinued at UNCG. This news surprised me and disappointed me, because this program meant the most to me during my time as an undergraduate. 

Given that there was no Chinese major at UNCG, I was very grateful to have the opportunity to at least minor in it. If it were possible, I would have majored in the Chinese language, so the minor was especially meaningful to me. I earnestly hope that other students in the future have the same opportunity I had to study Chinese this way. 

Without this minor, I would not be where I am today. It has positively affected not only my education, but also my present and future career plans working in China and becoming a translator. I discovered my dream through this program. I recently received an internship opportunity in China that I would not have the same qualifications for without having taken Chinese minor courses in college. The support from my Chinese professors has continued even after my graduation, and I hope this message I am writing can also support them and the program too. 

The other language/culture courses on the list (Russian and Korean) are also essential to keep as minors at UNCG. Relationships between countries are dependent on cross-cultural understanding and communication. Cutting programs regarding languages and cultures of major countries in today’s world should be a last resort. 

These are also languages often not offered at most high schools in North Carolina. I appreciated that UNCG offered this minor so that I could finally learn about history, languages, literature, and cultures other than European and American ones. Having the option to discover the world through these university courses opened up new perspectives and interests for me. It is very meaningful to students like me, so I sincerely hope you reconsider this decision. It saddens me to think that a young student going to UNCG in the future would not be able to learn this beautiful language and culture in depth. 

I hope that UNCG’s Chinese minor will not be discontinued, and I hope my voice is considered in your decision. Please know that this minor program has a big impact on many UNCG students’ futures and guides students to become successful communicators in today’s world. 


Raney Allen 

UNCG alumna and Chinese minor

UNCG students & alumns reflect on the value of Russian

"The support and community that I was able to create thanks to these programs was unlike anything I’d experienced across my other areas of study" 

-- Loren Wait (Class of 2022), who minored in Russian

Classes I took: 

Each of these classes greatly impacted my experience as an undergraduate student as they allowed me to access information about different cultures that I wouldn’t be able to otherwise. The language classes were a huge help in grounding me in the way the Russian language works and functions and the cultural classes opened my eyes to all of the interesting ways a culture different from my own functions and creates its media. 

The support and community that I was able to create thanks to these programs was unlike anything I’d experienced across my other areas of study (Supply Chain Management, International Business, and Musical Theatre - areas that are not currently being threatened by this change). For example, after our final exam in Intermediate Russian 2, our class decided to throw a celebration and potluck where we each elected to take time out of our day to come together with food and music and have a Russian potluck. Our professor made homemade borscht, students brought traditional Russian pastries, and we sang Russian songs accompanied by our professor on his accordion. 

I currently work as a Value Engineer at a software company and although I don’t speak Russian in my day to day, I believe the cultural appreciation I gained from this coursework has been central to my success as an employee at a global company. We recently had our Sales Kickoff in Madrid where I met with coworkers from across the globe and I was able to connect immediately with some of my Serbian colleagues thanks to the learnings I had in the Russian department at UNCG. The cultural understanding I gained from this coursework also helps me to be an accepting and adaptive member when visiting other cultures like Spain, the UK, and India – all places I’ve been sent on my job. 

I feel like it would be a massive disservice to the current and future generations of Spartans if this program were to be discontinued. I hold my experience in the Russian department near and dear to my heart and would hate to think that other students eager to learn about Russian language and culture would be deprived of that opportunity and experience.

"I was so excited to come to UNCG and find out that I could take Russian for my foreign language credits"

-- Physics major Madison Gullett (Class of 2024), who studied Russian

I find the thought of a Physics and Russian program at a University being discontinued distasteful. Physics is a core STEM science, and I find it hard to believe that a university would find it ineffectual. Physics is the foundation for studying the universe around us, and it teaches students so much more than solving equations. I have learned so much from not only my classes but my professors throughout the four years I have attended UNCG, and it is extremely disheartening to me to think my professors that have got me to where I am at will no longer be here or the courses that shaped who I am will no longer exist. You can't simply replace these professors, they're like no other. 

I was so excited to come to UNCG and find out that I could take Russian for my foreign language credits. I only ever thought I would have the chance to learn Spanish or French, but the opportunity to study a language that would help my future in astrophysics was inviting and so exciting, that I couldn't turn it away. I don't have a single bad thing to say about any of the instructors I had when I was taking my Russian courses, they were all wonderful in their own ways. The way they dedicated their lives to learning the language and becoming immersed in not only the language but the culture that Russia has to offer. I found it inspiring, and I hope to this day that I go back to my studies in Russian, and I use what I was taught and go forward in being fluent like I wanted to begin with. 

There is no doubt in my mind that I could not have gotten this far in my degree without all of these incredible instructors that have truly built me to the person I am today. These classes made me who I am. They were more than just classes I took to earn credit towards my degree. I don't know what this college will look like with these programs gone. It won't be the university I believed it was, and looking back on it will mean something much different. I would not be who I am today without these classes and without the instructors who taught me, and I am disappointed in the thought that other students will not be given the same opportunity I was given four years ago. 

"I find now more than ever that Russian is a necessary skill"

-- Adam Johnson (Class of 2023), M.A. student in Slavic & East European Languages, The Ohio State University  

My name is Adam Johnson, alumni of UNCG and a current graduate student at The Ohio State University studying Russian for the Professions. Throughout my time at UNCG, the impact that the Russian Department has had on me provided me with the materials and resources to be successful not only in Russian language, but also in a variety of other realms of academia and life skills. 

Dr. Krive and Dr. Reese have had an inexplicably large impact on my motivation and ability to speak Russian and properly push myself in a variety of Russian-related aspects of life. Dr. Krive taught me second and third-year Russian language, focusing on the well-being of her students and encourages her students to immerse themselves as much as possible outside of class. Dr. Reese gave me an amazing introduction into Russian Literature, and discussed foundational history in his Russian Literature class in my third year at UNCG. These two professors truly care about the material they teach, and without their influence, I seriously doubt I would be where I am today.

In my graduate program, the vast majority of my classes are taught in Russian, and usage of the language is necessary in order to succeed and receive the full potential and impact of the program. Especially given the current political situation in Eastern Europe, I find now more than ever that Russian is a necessary skill that students interested in language need to learn, and I personally feel that if UNCG were to eliminate this language as an option that the possibility for students to learn a critical language would be eliminated. As a graduate of this program, it will be a language that will become even more important over the coming years. 

Как студент русского языка, я считаю UNCG незабываемой и эффективной основой того, чем я сейчас занимаюсь в аспирантуре. Я всегда буду поддерживать изучение языка и особенно русский отдел UNCG.

Letters from colleagues highlight the importance of languages, damage to UNCG's reputation from these decisions


Korean rocks! Why is it being eliminated?

The popularity of Korean at UNCG:

Daniel Kim, Lecturer of Korean

Korean language classes at UNCG are so popular that the only instructor, Daniel Kim, teaches an overload of 5 courses per semester to try to  meet student demand. Korean courses often fill up soon after registration opens. Students who want to learn the language have to wait several semester or even years before getting a spot in a course.

UNCG's Campus-Wide Forum on the APR

Above: Gallery members waiting to enter the auditorium.

Below: Chancellor Gilliam (left) on stage, where he sat together with the Deans of several units and Provost Storrs.

Campus-Wide Forum on the APR

Jan. 23, 2024 

At a campus-wide forum on the APR, Chancellor Gilliam applauded "an intellectual argument" made by a Korean student for keeping the Korean program on account of its popularity and potential for growth.

 Gilliam indicated that the comment had encouraged him to reconsider eliminating the language program. 

Despite this, however, Korean was still on the Chancellor's final list of programs slated for discontinuation released on Feb. 1, 2023.

Read more in Sayaka Matsuoka's article in Triad City Beat.

Watch a video of the forum on YouTube.

Here are a few of the many reasons that the study of Korean language and culture matters:

Media coverage of language program elimination

Student Club Spotlight

Korean Student Assocation

There is a strong presence of Korean language, culture, heritage, and belonging at UNCG. The Korean Student Association is an organization open to all students interested in Korean culture, history, music, and more! 

X: @uncgksa

Facebook: UNCGKSA



Chinese Culture and Language Association

Facebook: CCLAUNCG


Study Abroad

LLC provides fantastic opportunities to experience and understand other cultures. To become immersed in the languages they are learning, students can study abroad at any one of UNCG's attractive array of programs around the world, including at several universities in South Korea. 

South Korea is currently the most popular study abroad destination for UNCG students.  

To learn more, contact the International Programs Center (IPC) at

"According to IPC sourced statistics, 73% of employers value study abroad experience. Cross cultural experience, strategic international understanding, and enhanced interpersonal skills are traits that employers look for." 

-- Becky Deakins, "UNCG Gives All Students Access to Study Abroad," May 5, 2023


UNCG has a range of study abroad programs at Seoul's Yonsei University, Sogang University, and Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU), which are among the most prestigious universities in South Korea. Students can spend a semester, a full year, or a summer in the vibrant capital city and cultural hub of Seoul. Students have the opportunity to take courses in Korean or English, while being integrated in programs with Korean students and immersed in Korean culture.


UNCG offers a study abroad program in Russian at Kazan State University, one of the best and oldest universities in Russia. Kazan's famous alumni include Leo Tolstoy, Vladimir Lenin (who was expelled), mathematician Nikolai Lobachevsky, and numerous important chemists. UNCG students can spend a semester or a full year in Kazan. Students must complete RUS 101 and RUS 102 before studying abroad in Russia, where they have the opportunity to earn Russian language and culture credit.


UNCG has two study abroad programs in Hong Kong. Students can study Chinese language and Contemporary China Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) or focus on business at the City University of Hong Kong (CityU). Students can spend a semester, a full year, or a summer in Hong Kong. 

Chinese culture and investments are critical to NC. Chinese is the third most spoken language in NC, after English and Spanish. China is a top source of imports and the state's big export destination. 

Meet LLC's Chinese, Korean & Russian faculty 

Xiao Rao

Xiao Rao (he/him) has been at UNCG since 2019. In 2022-2023, Xiao won a prestigious fellowship from the ACLS (American Council of Learned Societies) for his book project on humor and storytelling, Tales of Wit and Enlightenment: Laughter and Humor in Northern Song (960-1127) China. At UNCG, he teaches Chinese language and topics courses in English such as East Asian Fantasies. 

Meiqing Sun

Meiqing Sun (she/her) has been at UNCG since 2012. She teaches all levels of Chinese and researches second language acquisition, language teaching and pedagogy, language contact and language development, syntactic theory, cognitive linguistics, and corpus linguistics. She advises UNCG's Chinese Culture and Language Association and organizes events and celebrations that are hugely fun.

Kevin Reese

Kevin (he/him) brings 20 years of experience teaching Russian to UNCG, where he also offers courses on science fiction and fairy tales. An experienced translator too, he is described by a colleague as "THE rock star of Russian and East Slavic Studies in North Carolina." In addition to his language credentials, Kevin has taught all levels of high school math and thus is truly a person to be respected and feared.

Sarah Krive

When not spending time with her Very Good Doggo (seriously, look at that photo -- what a Good Doggo), Sarah (she/her) is passionate about teaching Russian language and literature at UNCG. She takes pleasure in practicing mindfulness and exploring the joys of close readings with her students. She researches Russian Modernism and literary ethics. Sarah has also served as Assistant Director of Lloyd International Honors College.

Kathleen Macfie

Kathleen (she/her) has been at UNCG since 1993. She has a long history with our study abroad programs, having led trips to Russia and Eastern Europe. Kathleen researches and teaches courses on the Russian novel, Leo Tolstoy, Anton Chekhov, the literature of resistance, and African-American literary ties to Russian intellectual thought. She has also served as Director of IGS (International and Global Studies). And she makes art!

Daniel Kim

Daniel (he/him) has been at UNCG since 2018. He teaches the popular 4-course Korean language sequence, as well as Global Korean Studies in English. Korea is a sought-after study abroad destination, and the language experience students gain in Daniel's classes at UNCG is invaluable preparation for them to make the most of their time abroad. (They also really enjoy K-pop and K-drama.)

👀 Positive comments on RMP are rare ...

LLC offers languages, and lots of other stuff too...

Here are some of the many awesome classes taught by LLC's faculty in English!

It's the department of Languages, yes -- BUT ALSO of Literatures AND Cultures!

LLC's versatile faculty also offer classes in their areas of expertise, which are open to students at all levels. Courses are taught in English on the following topics:

Faculty Bookshelf

Kevin Reese is the author of Celestial Hellscapes: Cosmology as the Key to the  Strugatskiis' Science Fictions (2019). 

(Could a book title possibly sound any more intriguing???)

Meiqing Sun co-athored the textbook and workbook Speak and Act: Beginning Chinese, volume 2, together with Maiheng S. Dietrich and Karina H. Chen (2022).

Xiao Rao's article, "Humor under the Guise of Chan: Stories of Su Shi and Encounter Dialogues" was published in Journal of the American Oriental Society (vol. 142, no. 2, 2022, pp. 311-334). 

Kathleen Macfie's essay, "Cyril Briggs and The Crusader: Black Engagement with Soviet Russia," appeared in New Perspectives on Russian-American Relations (ed. William Benton Whisenhunt and Norman E. Saul, 2016, pp. 178-192).

Look at all the events put on by UNCG's Chinese and Asian Studies Programs!

UNCG's Chinese Studies Program organizes at least three big events a year, both alone and together with student organizations and other Asian Studies programs. See photos of the fun to the left! 

Some of these fabulous events include: 

Chinese Spring Festivals

The Chinese Studies Program organizes numerous events that are open to all members of the community. These gatherings make invaluable contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusivity by promoting the visibility of Asian cultures and traditions on the UNCG campus. 

2024 Chinese Spring Festival: You are invited to join this celebration of the Lunar New Year and welcoming the Year of the Dragon with performances, a Cultural Diversity Poster Showcase, arts and craft activities, and food inspired by traditions across Asia!

When: Feb. 24, 2024, from 12:00 to 4:30pm
Where: EUC Auditorium 

Free and open to the public! Stage performances in the Auditorium will begin at 2:00pm.

Contact Dr. Meiqing Sun at with questions.

Coverage of Chinese & Asian events @ UNCG

More language events and things that will be missed

Showcase: LLC students participating in study abroad! /// Past Chinese program events!