Welcome from the Director

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Welcome to the School of International Letters & Cultures (SILC), the primary home for education and research on international languages and cultures at ASU. SILC helps students become internationally aware and globally informed citizens of today’s complex world. The study of languages and culture provides proven advantages in terms of both academic success and career prospects. Learning about other parts of the world is intrinsically interesting and intellectually satisfying. In addition to a broad range of career opportunities, payoffs include personal development, self-knowledge, and critical insight.

Languages are gateways into the broader world, and they function in particular cultural and historical contexts. We need to acquire cultural literacy in order to be able to use language skills in meaningful ways. Knowledge of culture and language—the two are really indivisible—makes dialogue between people possible and can reduce the sense of separation that inhibits understanding. In today’s world, with increasing conflict between nations, cultures, and religions, linguistic and cultural knowledge is essential to building bridges that help us cross the divides.

SILC is home to dedicated language professionals in over twenty languages and can boast of numerous internationally known scholars of literature, film, cultural and intellectual history, and linguistics. If you are interested in the human experience, ancient and modern, around the world and across time, then you’ve come to the right place. 

--Dr. Nina Berman