Cal students choose to study languages and cultures for many different reasons–curiosity, getting a job, family.
On October 24, the BLC hosted a panel of outstanding undergraduates who shared exactly why they have chosen to study language/culture at Berkeley.
The students are studying a range of languages: Spanish (Damaris Velazquez Lopez), French (Kayne Belul), Kiswahili (Malik Mbugua), Ancient Greek (Will Sieving), German (Roxana Wang), Swedish (Marley Fortin), Arabic (Sara Lodin), Italian (Mateo Giovannini).
Their perspectives and motivations were equally diverse: finding spaces where their home languages were valued, personal passion and enjoyment, connecting to their family history, connecting to other people. They described language learning in different ways, such as “engaging on other peoples’ terms,” “understanding yourself through languages and places,” “decentering yourself, your language, and your culture,” “a window into what another place is like,” and “disappearing into a culture.”
After sharing their reasons for studying language/culture, the panelists answered questions from the audience.
We want to sincerely thank the panelists and the audience members for such a rich discussion on the importance of language/culture on our campus.