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Prospective Students and Mentors

Our program provides students serious about language learning with the opportunity for daily language and cultural immersion in an organized study environment.

Prospective Students

The Language House is a multicultural community in which residents work together to develop fluency in a target language and an appreciation of the historical, geographical, and sociological world of the target culture(s). Students join one of ten language clusters, where they live and learn together in the target language. Native-speaking mentors provide additional learning opportunities through weekly structured cluster meetings and activities.

Students who choose this program will develop communication skills in both academic and daily life settings through diverse organized activities, informal daily contacts, outreach events, and supplemental coursework in the target language. The program also fosters multicultural competence through various Language House-wide events that give students the opportunity to interact with the other clusters.

How to Apply as a Student


Ten languages are available: Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Persian, Russian, and Spanish. View our language clusters here.

Why Choose the Language House?

  • Immersive linguistic and cultural environment
  • Great alternative or addition to studying abroad
  • Regular interaction with native speakers
  • Make friends with shared cultural interests
  • Vibrant and supportive community of staff, mentors, and faculty
  • Centrally-located housing (St. Mary's Hall) is steps away from the STAMP Student Union, McKeldin Library, and Jimenez Hall (where students take language courses).
  • Join the oldest living-learning program at Maryland, which has been running since 1989.

Who Can Apply?

The program is open to sophomores and above, but second-semester freshmen with an intermediate oral proficiency are also considered. Students from any major can apply for the program. Admission is determined by a faculty committee of language instructors and is based on ability, motivation, and commitment, as well as a sound academic record. A Language House student must possess and nurture a strong commitment towards improving themselves in the chosen target language.

Commitment for a Language House student:

  • Enroll in a course in the target language during every semester that they live in the Language House to ensure steady progress in the target language through both formal and informal instruction
  • Uphold the immersion environment by speaking the target language consistently and within the respective language cluster
  • Attend and actively participate in the weekly cluster meetings and activities
  • Participate and help organize Language House-wide activities and events

How Can I Apply to Become a Language House Student?

The application is accessible here.

The application involves:
Completing an initial application form, including an essay (in English), and two references who can attest to the applicant's abilities in the target language. Successful applications will then be contacted to schedule an oral interview with a faculty member.

Application Deadline
Fall 2021 Admission:  Extended Deadline May 3rd, 2021

Housing Information
The Language House students reside in St. Mary’s Hall.
Admitted students must fill out a housing agreement to be included in the Resident Life roster.

For additional information or questions
Please contact the Language House Immersion Program Director by phone at (301) 405-6996 or by email at

Prospective Mentors

Language Mentors are native speakers that lead one of our ten language clusters. Mentors foster linguistic and cultural learning and immersion and engage cluster students in their community through various culturally relevant activities. Mentors are supported in this work by the Language House administration and SLLC faculty.

How to Apply as a Mentor

Responsibilities and Benefits

Responsibilities Include:

  • Encouraging and promoting interaction in the target language. Mentors should speak in the target language at all times.
  • Monitoring the students' progress in the target language; mentors should spend time with each of the students on a regular basis.
  • Planning and implementing a range of interactive activities that will engage students both linguistically and culturally. Some examples of such activities are: events with faculty and students from countries that speak the target language, cooking events, museum visits, lectures, game nights, study breaks, film screenings and discussions, etc.
  • Communicating linguistic progress and providing bi-weekly updates on cluster activities with the director of the Language House.
  • Participating in professional development, including leadership training, as well as Language House-wide events.
  • Working with the faculty liaison and your language program.
  • Assisting in the recruitment and retention of students in the cluster by attending recruitment events and conducting classroom visits.

Benefits Include:

  • $16/hour salary (Hours range from 7-14/week based on the size of the cluster).
  • Monthly professional development opportunities for developing leadership, mentoring, and communication skills.
  • Gain experience and skills in linguistic and cultural teaching.
  • Build your résumé or CV.
  • Develop relationships with university faculty.
  • Become part of a vibrant, supportive, and helpful community of faculty and staff.


Preferred Qualifications (♠ = Required Qualification)

  • Native or near-native speaker of the desired cluster's target language. ♠
  • Be organized, creative, and motivated. 
  • Able to work with diverse people. 
  • Have teaching or leadership experience.
  • Interested in living in St. Mary's Hall.
  • For international graduate students: able to work on campus. ♠

How Can I Apply to Become a Language House Mentor?

The application is accessible here.

The Application Involves:

Completing an initial application, including an essay in English and two references who can attest to your leadership. Successful applications will then be contacted to schedule an interview with the director.

Application Deadline:

The application is always open. We hire new mentors on an as-needed basis.

Current needs include: Arabic, French, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish

For additional information or questions
Please contact the Language House Immersion Program Director by phone at (301) 405-6996 or by email at

Housing Information
Mentors may choose to reside in St. Mary’s Hall; if so, mentors must fill out a housing agreement to be included in the Resident Life roster.