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About the Department

As of September 1, 2013, the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures has joined the Northwestern community with the unique and specific mission to offer an interdisciplinary in-depth education in the study of Asian languages, cultures and literatures. By choosing a major or minor in ALC, students will acquire linguistic and transcultural competence in the Asian humanities and learn to better appreciate Asia as a dynamic site of international cultural relations. ALC currently offers students the opportunity to explore the languages and cultures of China, South Asia, Japan and Korea. The aim is to nurture a profound appreciation of the uniqueness within each Asian cultural region. Learn more about the department.

Why Study Asian Languages and Cultures?

Knowledge of an Asian language offers entry into rich and complex cultures that are both fascinating and thought-provoking. Moreover, familiarity with an Asian language, history, and culture provides an informed perspective on areas of the world that are economically and politically important to everyone. Other fields, including sciences and engineering, offer exchange opportunities where fluency in an Asian language becomes quite useful. Studying another cultural tradition closely also allows us to gain a new understanding of our own cultural traditions and origins in exciting ways. Learn more about why you should study Asian languages and cultures.