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Our location in one of the country's most spectacularly beautiful and culturally diverse landscapes allows us to make a unique contribution to the study of world cultures.

Welcome to the Department of Foreign Languages & Literatures

FLL offers the opportunity to learn modern and classical languages: Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, French, German, Classical Greek, Italian, Latin, and Russian. It also allows students to explore the cultures and literary and visual expression associated with the circulation and influence of these languages in the world. Our many degree programs and courses promote the cross-cultural awareness and critical skills necessary for students to understand their own place within global culture.  We train advanced students in literary and cultural criticism, as well as in language teaching, preparing them for careers as educators and, more generally, as professionals adept in cross-cultural communication.  Faculty conduct research in multiple fields, from Japanese food manga, to the French and African travels of Jazz, to Rome on the Big Screen, to literary memory of the Holocaust, to aspects of language learning.

10 Reasons to Study Languages and Learn About World Cultures

  1. People who know more than one language have better executive brain function than monolinguals.  Bilinguals have "increased attentional control, working memory, metalinguistic awareness, and abstract and symbolic representation skills."
  2. "The top-paying liberal arts majors are foreign languages and literatures (average starting salary $46,900) and English ($42,200)."
  3. Graduates in education fields have the third "happiest job" in America. Many FLL graduates pursue careers in education.
  4. J.K. Rowling was a Classics major: "One of the many things I learned at the end of that Classics corridor down which I ventured at the age of 18, in search of something I could not then define, was this, written by the Greek author Plutarch: What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality. That is an astonishing statement and yet proven a thousand times every day of our lives. It expresses, in part, our inescapable connection with the outside world, the fact that we touch other people’s lives simply by existing."
  5. "Job seekers with bilingual skills could look forward to a profusion of opportunities in the coming year, according to various reports and company hiring plans. With the globalization of businesses and populations growing increasingly cosmopolitan, the need for transactional knowledge of languages has become very important in both private and government sectors."
  6. Majoring in the Humanities does pay off: "While they may not earn as much as professional and pre-professional majors like nurses and business majors when they first get out of school, by the time they are 56-60 years old, considered their peak earning years, [Humanities majors] make an average of $66,000, $2,000 a year more than those with professional degrees."
  7. FLL majors have cross-cultural competence – a crucial skill for achieving human understanding and securing relationships in a globalized world.
  8. "Employment of interpreters and translators is projected to grow 46 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. Employment growth will be driven by increasing globalization and by large increases in the number of non-English-speaking people in the United States. Job prospects should be best for those who have professional certification."
  9. Have you ever read the books of Mo Yan, Herta Müller, Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio, John M. Coetzee, Kenzaburo Oe, Naghib Mahfouz, Wole Soyinka, Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn (all Nobel Prize winners), and Homer, Virgil and Dante (well, you know, Homer, Virgil and Dante)?
  10. Carpe diem

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