Last fall, prior to my arrival at Conn, I spent weeks browsing the College’s course catalog and reading the various major descriptions on the website. There were many interesting classes, but my curiosity was piqued by the College’s language requirement. Every student must complete at least two semesters of a foreign language, regardless of how many languages they already know. Over the summer, we received emails with a language study brochure (Connecticut College Language Study Brochure), which I read multiple times. The Dean of First Year Students, Emily Morash, told us that we were not required to take a language course in our first year but it is recommended so that we don’t have to worry about it in our junior or senior years. I studied French for five years and knew I wanted to start something new. But the question was: Which one? Currently, Conn offers courses in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Russian and Spanish.
A day before Orientation started, I had boiled it down to a choice between Arabic, Chinese or German. During Orientation, I went to the Academic Fair, which had representatives from all the academic departments at Conn. The East Asian Studies table was mobbed with students so I headed to the Arabic Studies table and never left.
This was a year ago.
Now, as a sophomore, I am enrolled in the Intermediate Arabic Series. I finished my foreign language requirement, but over the past year I developed a great appreciation for the intricacies of the language and wanted to continue. More importantly, I met my best friends in Arabic class! Jordan, Marianna and I bonded over our shared struggles of learning a new alphabet that is written right to left instead of left to right like English or my native language, Bengali.
Currently, there are four of us enrolled in the course and besides meeting in class, we regularly gather in the library to do homework together. Even though I was apprehensive at the beginning, starting and continuing to learn Arabic has made my Conn experience more unique. Next year I will have the opportunity to take Arabic again but this time our class will be studying abroad in Morocco.