Who We Are
Few institutions are as well situated as BYU to prepare students to understand and nurture ties with Europe. The European experience and language skills of students and faculty make the campus home to a remarkably sophisticated and rich discussion about European topics.
The Center for the Study of Europe (CSE) aims to become a leading interdisciplinary community of scholars and students working on Europe. Through sponsorship of workshops, speakers, research, study abroad, community outreach, and novel courses with strong European content, CSE also provides training for all BYU students, regional teachers, and students at all education levels, and businesses, the media, and the general public.
Among the many activities to be achieved by NRC funding, CSE has established five main objectives:
1. Expand language offerings to accommodate growing demand.
2. Reinforce non-language offerings in European studies.
3. Support scholarly inquiry.
4. Develop new linkages and internship opportunities.
5. Extend the breadth and depth of outreach efforts.
BYU is unique in that around 10,000 of our students speak a European language other than English with advanced-plus fluency. Europe is a pillar of the BYU curriculum with upwards of 180 faculty teaching over 1,200 courses that have substantially or exclusively European content. Roughly half of these courses are language courses. Enrollments in these classes—most of which are offered in multiple sections each year—reached over 58,300 on the West European side alone during the most recent academic year. Courses on Russia and Eastern Europe raised enrollment substantially higher, as BYU continues to host the nation's largest undergraduate Russian department.
Of the faculty involved, over 86 percent speak a foreign language with at least an intermediate fluency, while 51 percent speak two or more, and 93 percent have spent at least one year in Europe. This unique set of skills and experience has prepared CSE faculty to direct the thirty-one permanent European study abroad programs and other internship/research programs that offer roughly two hundred courses with 5,400 enrollments annually—among the very highest in the nation.
BYU's various outreach programs have a remarkable scope. The Lee Library's Western European Collection contains over one million holdings in over twenty western European languages, and these resources are open to the general public and all Rocky Mountain educational institutions. Furthermore, over four thousand high school students of French, German, and Spanish come from Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming to compete in one of the largest Foreign Language Fairs for K–12 language study in the West. Currently 513 post-secondary institutions use BYU language programs (CAPE, CLIPS, FLATS, and OTS).
CSE is housed with the David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies in the Herald R. Clark building.