About the Oldenborg Center

The Oldenborg Center for Modern Languages and International Relations serves three unique functions at Pomona College, a liberal arts college of approximately 1650 undergraduate located 35 miles east of Los Angeles. Oldenborg is at once a) a foreign-language residence hall, b) a dining hall, c) an international exchange venue that supports the teaching of modern foreign languages and international relations on campus. Oldenborg houses approximately 129 undergraduate students each academic year; the selection process is competitive and successful applicants must demonstrate both knowledge of, and engagement in, modern foreign languages and international affairs. Oldenborg is divided into six separate language sections (Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Russian and Spanish), each of which is directed by a Language Resident who is a native speaker of that section’s language.


Language Residents are Pomona College staff employees; i.e, they are teaching assistants, not teaching faculty or research scholars. Moreover, since part of Oldenborg’s mission is to provide structured, but still informal, learning opportunities outside the classroom, the majority of work duties performed by Language Residents also takes place outside the classroom and is designed to supplement and enrich the regular academic programming already offered by the College. Language Residents report to the Oldenborg Center Director and, under the Director’s guidance, collaborate with foreign language faculty in structuring and implementing programming that supports engagement with foreign languages and cultures at the College. As such, Language Resident duties and responsibilities include:

  • To serve as facilitators in intermediate and advanced foreign language conversation classes.
  • To attend weekday foreign-language lunch tables and provide leadership that stimulates conversation in the target language.
  • To organize and provide leadership for Center cultural activities, such as film screenings, guest presentations, trips to appropriate local or regional events. Although students may lead some activities, the Language Resident will advise and guide the students in selecting and structuring the activity.
  • To promote use of the target language and interest in the foreign culture(s) relevant to the language section; to do so in a manner consistent with the Center’s spirit of providing a foreign language immersion environment for students.
  • To be prepared to collaborate with individual foreign language faculty for a maximum of 5 hours per week as agreed upon by the Oldenborg Center Director and the Department Chair of the respective language program (monitor drill sections, etc.).
  • Additional duties as required.

Visa Requirements

Language Residents are Exchange Visitors as classified by the U.S. Department of State visa regulations. Language Residents hold J-1 non-degree student visas and, in order to maintain good standing as defined by visa regulations, must enroll in and successfully complete a full academic course load each term as defined by Pomona College (three academic credits). In addition, visa regulations limit Language Residents to work no more than 20 hours per week. Oldenborg does not sponsor J-1 dependents.


Oldenborg Language Residents receive $11,500 for the academic year (mid-August until mid-May), room and board (16 meals per week plus $160 Board Plus per semester), and College employee benefits (subsidized health care plan). Since Language Residents must complete three academic credits each semester per visa regulations, the College waives Language Resident tuition for course loads of up to three credits. Language Residents must pay their own travel expenses. All positions are for one academic year; occasionally, and upon the College’s review, positions may be renewed for a single additional year.


Language Residents must be native speakers of one of the six languages emphasized by the Center: Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Russian, or Spanish. Language Residents must be at least 21 years of age; they should hold a B.A. degree (or equivalent), preferably in foreign languages, linguistics, or a related field. The College requires a minimum TOEFL score of 600 on the paper-based test, 250 on the computer-based version and 100 on the internet-based version. Similar English-language tests (i.e, IELTS) will also be considered. Language Residents are not required to obtain a U.S. driving license; however, the Center encourages Language Residents with driving experience to obtain a U.S. license once they arrive and settle here.

Application Materials

Applicants for the position of Oldenborg Language Resident should submit the following materials:

  • Language Resident Application Form 
  • Cover letter in English (indicating reasons for applying for this position, extracurricular interests, eventual career plans, and other relevant information)
  • Curriculum vitae in English
  • Score on TOEFL, IELTS, or equivalent 
  • Official transcript of academic work (with English translation)
  • 2 letters of recommendation. Letters should be sealed by the recommender and, if possible, sent directly to the Oldenborg Center Director. E-mail attachments are acceptable, but need to be sent directly to oldenborg@pomona.edu from the recommender's e-mail address.

Finalists for the position will be contacted for a Skype video interview. For full consideration, application materials should be received by Friday, February 14, 2020. 

Application materials should be sent to:

Professor Aya Nakagoshi, Director
Oldenborg Center – Pomona College
350 N. College Way
Claremont, CA 91711

Or, submit application materials electronically to oldenborg@pomona.edu and please write Language Resident Application in the email subject line.