Chazen Language Program

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. Classes are created based on demand.

View program requirements and deadlines →

View the semester calendar →

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 complement 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 Fall 2018:

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

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

Each class meeting lasts for 90 minutes.

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 Languages, 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