By Ganiyu, Ayanniyi
The department of Modern Languages (now Foreign Languages) was established into Obafemi Awolowo University in 1968 with French Language programme as its pioneer course.
Over time, German and Portuguese were introduced to meet the yearning demands of potential students.
Professor W. F. Feuser is the first professor and the pioneer head of department. The department had and still contributes massively to the nation and world at large through its products in the areas of diplomacy, mass media, ICT, Education, Research in languages etc.
The department of Foreign Languages belongs to the Faculty of Arts, OAU and it offers B.A Degree programme in which students must complete the four year programme as they spend their third year outside the University for the mandatory Equivalent Year Abroad Programme (EYAP) excluding some students that combine courses (French & German, French & Portuguese, French and English) who may decide to go for their Language Immersion Programme(LIP) in part 4.
Since, the department has three (3) sections which are French, German and Portuguese, students of this department have only one academic session to be together in the department due to the mandatory Equivalent Year Abroad Programme (EYAP) or Language Immersion Programme (LIP) except for combining students who are not many, like 80%.
The Portuguese students do their LIP in Brazil, the German students do their LIP at Goethe Institute in Lagos (before in Germany) while the French students do their LIP at Nigeria French Languages Village (NFLV), Badagry - Lagos or in Benin republic (before in France).
The LIP was formerly sponsored by the federal government with the help of some foreign authorities, but now, students of this department sponsor their LIP themselves. Some students do delay their LIP due to some financial constraints while some students switch to other course in the same department or even move to other department in the university due to the same stated problem.
This is to be noted, some students of OAU and some outsiders do think that those students in foreign languages are not part of the university due to their year abroad programme in which foreign languages students are not frequently or at times not seen in the university during their LIP.
Mr. Daniel, a student in OAU (not in foreign languages) once queried his friend from the department of foreign languages in an OAU Whatsapp group that "Bro, have you graduated ?". Meanwhile the student that was queried got admission in 2016, the same year the questioner got admitted.
Also, some students of this department who have dreams in University politics get less popularity or followers during their year outside the Campus which give them less hope in winning a political post, mostly when it comes to representing their great department.
All Languages students in all Nigerian Universities such as University of Ibadan, Ahmadu Bello University, University of Ilorin, University of Nigeria, University of Benin also do this mandatory Equivalent Year Abroad Programme (EYAP) or Language Immersion Programme (LIP).