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Sunday, April 30, 2017

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'Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Cultures'

Princeton University gives undergraduates many chances to learn about different countries and communities through the interdisciplinary approach of a liberal arts education. The Department of Spanish and Portuguese Languages and Cultures not only teaches another language (or two) but also expands students' view of the world. Read more.

Video Closed Captions


RACHEL PRICE: There's more
than 400 million native

Spanish speakers in the world,
more than 200 million native

Portuguese speakers, and then
people who have it as their

second language.

Brazil is, depending on the
day, the sixth or fifth

biggest economy in
the world now.

So these are really important
traditions and languages to

have in what we're well into,
this post-American century.

our concentrators first

encounter the department now
through freshman seminars.

We have a number of faculty
that teach very exciting

freshman sems.

So that's one route.

The other route is through
basic language courses.

So a student will start learning
Spanish or start

learning Portuguese, will then
go on a study abroad--

we now have, I believe,
four different

study abroad programs--

and become very excited
about the type of work

that they can do.

JOSEPH L. TOBIN: Originally
I came in

thinking I'd study economics.

And I had always enjoyed

I'd always liked Spanish.

And after taking some classes
here and getting exposure to

professionals in the department,
I decided it was

what I wanted to pursue.

SHAYLA REID: Even if I weren't
necessarily going down the

medical route, the language
skills are useful, of course,

but also you learn a lot about
different cultures and sort of

the way people think, how they
interact with things.

ANGEL G. LOUREIRO: We know that
at any time there are

people from different cultures
sharing a life in a society,

there is going to be tensions.

And there is going to be
clashes and conflicts.

Our concentrators learn how to
address those conflicts, not

necessarily to solve them,
because sometimes they are not

solvable, but how to address
them with respect for the

other culture.

STEVEN SERVER: I spent six
weeks this past summer in

Argentina with the Spanish
department's new Princeton in

Buenos Aires program.

And I felt totally comfortable
not only just conversing with

the average Argentine on the
street, but also really

getting into the material that
we learned in our seminar.

Spanish is worth it because

this department gives an
unparalleled academic

experience for the time that
you concentrate in the


I think there are other places
on campus where you can

probably do as well, but I don't
think you can do better.

The kind of attention and
challenge that one gets from

the faculty in this department
as well as the encouragement

to cut your own path just
couldn't be better.

And the field is so rich that
whatever your interest within

it might be, you're going
to get the rigor of the

discipline of Spanish or
Portuguese language,

literature, and cultural
studies, but you're going to

get a chance to really explore
what it is that

interests you the most.


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