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Chazen Language Program

Communicating Globally

No global perspective is complete without the ability to communicate effectively in a cross-cultural environment. Whether you are asking for directions in a foreign city or trying to convey a business idea to a client abroad, communicating in the native tongue can give you a decided advantage. For career advancement or personal pleasure, join the more than 2,500 students who have taken advantage of this program. Begin learning the sounds of a new language, or brush up on and practice a language that you have studied previously.

The Chazen Language Program offers eight-week courses for alumni, students, faculty, staff, and their spouses, with a focus on communication through conversation. Taught by trained instructors, the course offers 90 minute sessions of language immersion every week in small classroom settings of no more than nine students. Business terminology is emphasized at the advanced levels. The Chazen Language Program is available in the fall, spring, and summer semesters.

Program Structure

Class time schedule varies by semester. To best reflect changing student demand, the Chazen Language Program offers a unique registration process. When registering online, students choose from a select number of time slots that compliment the MBA schedule. Classes are created based on student registration. While first choices are not guaranteed, students will only be placed in a time slot selected during registration.

Options for Summer 2015:

  • Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays: 10:30 - 12:00 p.m.;12:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
  • Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays: 6:00 - 7:30 p.m.; 7:30 – 9:00 p.m.

Classes meet once a week at the same time for a total of 8 sessions. 

Classes meet for 90 minutes each week.

Chazen Language classes break each semester for midterm exams and finish before final exams. When signing up for a section, please keep in mind possible time conflicts. First term students are encouraged to wait a semester before taking a class to better understand their time commitments.

Classes are typically offered in Arabic, Business English, Chinese, French, German, Hindi, Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish at beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels. Classes in additional languages can be offered if there is sufficient interest. There must be a minimum of four students to hold a class. Class size is restricted to nine students to ensure a high level of interaction.

The Chazen Language Program is open to all Business School, SIPA, and Columbia University students, faculty and staff members, and their spouses.


Foreign Language classes are taught by professional instructors from ABC Language Exchange, which was selected in 2004 by New York Magazine's annual 'Best of New York' survey as offering the top Asian Language Lessons in the city. ABC brings highly trained instructors with years of experience to the job to teach language in a dynamic and effective way. The program offers students an intimate group setting, concentrating primarily on learning through the spoken word. Oral skills precede reading and writing, with a limited focus on grammar.

View program requirements and deadlines

View the semester calendar


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Frequently Asked Questions

Want to know how to contact us? Or what we have to offer? Try here first.

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The Chazen Institute does not have members; most of our programs are open to anyone. All current students and faculty receive our mailings.

Email us at, or call 212-854-4750. Our mailing address is Columbia Business School, 3022 Broadway, Uris Hall 2M2, New York, NY 10027. Our fax number is 212-851-9509.

Simply email us at and let us know you'd like to be added to our list. To subscribe to Chazen Global Insights, our e-newsletter, click here.

Winter study tours are announced in May; spring tours are announced in October. Check our study tour page for updates.

Alumni are welcome at most of the events we sponsor. Alumni can also learn another language through the Chazen Language Program. Be sure to sign up for the Chazen Institute email list on the alumni website to receive notification of upcoming events.

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Chazen Global Insights

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CBS students: Bid for upcoming Chazen travel during fall bidding starting July 16th. Classes include August block week in China and winter to Brazil, Chile, Cuba, and Tunisia.
Learn more about global immersion programs >

Video of the recent talk by Arun Jaitley, Finance Minister of India, at Columbia Business School, is now online.
View video on YouTube>

Have you checked out our new India Business Initiative? We've got news, commentaries and research.
Visit the website >

Congrats to Chazen Senior Scholar William Duggan on the publication of his new book “The 7th Sense.” Read an excerpt >