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Sociolinguistics and Multilingualism


“Sociolinguistics and Multilingualism” (SoMu) is an international joint-degree study programme offered by Vytautas Magnus University (VMU), Kaunas, Johannes-Gutenberg University (JGU), Mainz, Germany, Stockholm University (SU), Sweden, and the University of Tartu (UT), Estonia. During their four-semester studies, students study in three different universities: the first semester is taught in Kaunas, the second in Mainz; for the third semester students choose between Stockholm and Tartu; and the fourth semester students stay at the university of the main supervisor of their MA thesis.

The programme is meant for students, who are interested in the role of language in society. With its geographical focus on the entire Baltic-Sea region, the programme is unique amongst all sociolinguistic MA programmes in Europe in the width of languages and societies covered in it. The language of instruction is English.

Feedback of lecturers and students

“SoMu has been for me a physical and intellectual journey made of inspiring encounters and stimulating academic growth, all in an enriching intercultural atmosphere. It is a life-changing experience that I would definitely recommend to those students interested in embarking this challenging, but wonderful journey.” Arianna Grasso, 2nd year student

“SoMu was a great experience I wouldn’t want to miss because I learnt a lot: not only about language policies, the history of the Baltic states, linguistic minorities, Lithuanian as a foreign language, and lots of other academic things, but also many things for life.” Frederik Bissinger, SoMu graduate (currently a PhD student at Stockholm University and JGU-Mainz)

“This international programme can be best described in one word ‘variation’. In SoMu you can both investigate and experience linguistic and cross-cultural variation by studying in a highly diverse international group of students, by learning several new languages, by exploring language use in society, and by moving from university to university in different countries. Worth taking the opportunity!” Prof. Jūratė Ruzaitė, coordinator of SoMu at VMU

Competencies acquired

Graduates of the programme obtain the following skills:

  • Critical and self-critical thinking;
  • Cooperation, interpersonal, as well as cross-cultural communication skills;
  • General and specific sociolinguistic knowledge, especially regarding multilingualism;
  • Knowledge of the general (socio-)historical context and the ability to locate sociolinguistic research and debate in general and European and Baltic-Sea region research;
  • Awareness of present societal, cultural and linguistic settings;
  • Professional working competence in English; knowledge of lesser-used and taught languages;
  • Interdisciplinary methodological skills.



Career opportunities

The graduates of the programme can expect to find employment in the following fields:

  • Academic sphere, e.g., research tasks and/or doctoral studies in sociolinguistics, cross-cultural communication, identity, multilingualism, regionalism, etc.;
  • Counselling on multilingualism issues at political and cultural institutions, including the EU institutions;
  • Counselling and teaching on multilingualism issues in educational institutions of all levels;
  • Counselling business and finance organizations in issues involving multilingualism and regional and economic cooperation;
  • Various international, national and regional public and private sector institutions and projects concerned with multilingualism, language planning and policy;
  • Mass media (with additional qualifications), e.g. in fields such as political journalism.


Faculty of Humanities (inquiries regarding study programme)
Programme coordinator at VMU  Prof. Jūratė Ruzaitė, Jurate.Ruzaite@hmf.vdu.lt
General e-mail somu@hmf.vdu.lt
Address Putvinskio str. 23, room 604, LT-44243 Kaunas, Lithuania
Website https//somu.vdu.lt and www.hmf.vdu.lt/en
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/somu.vdu/


International Cooperation Department (inquiries regarding application and admission)
E-mail studies@vdu.lt
Visiting Address Address I V. Putvinskio g. 23, Room 218, LT-44243 Kaunas, Lithuania
Mailing Address K. Donelaičio g. 58, LT-44248 Kaunas, Lithuania
Website www.vdu.lt/en/
Facebook www.facebook.com/VytautasMagnusUniversity
Pinterest www.pinterest.com/vytautasmagnus/

  • Faculty Faculty of Humanities
  • Group of Fields of Study Humanities
  • Lenght of Programme 2 academic years
  • ECTS credits 120
  • Name of Qualification Master of Linguistics (Joint degree)