Why AMESALL?

Do you love to read new, different and exciting literature? Do you dream of traveling to faraway places? Would you like to discover the rich and complex worlds that learning a new language can open up? Are you interested in an off-the-beaten-track career in government or non-profit community service, translation, archeology, medieval history, journalism, teaching, international business or development? Studying any one of the range of African, Middle Eastern, and South Asian languages and literatures taught at AMESALL can help prepare you for the challenges of the job market in a globalized world, or for graduate school and a range of professional or academic degrees.

Take your pick: ArabicHindiPersianSanskritSwahiliTurkishTwi, and more. With an AMESALL major, you will acquire an advanced level of proficiency in any one of these languages and explore their rich and vibrant literary and cultural traditions, from ancient times to the 21st century. Discover the mystical love poetry of Persia, the magical world of African folklore and myth, the magnificent Vedic scriptures of India, and the controversial modern fiction of Nobel-prize winning authors from the three regions, like Orhan Pamuk, Wole Soyinka, Naguib Mahfouz and Nadine Gordimer. Our courses cover a broad range of topics that emphasize the geographic and cultural interconnectedness of Africa, the Middle East and Asia, and that address issues of relevance to the complex world we live in today, such as feminism and Islam in Africa, or modernism and colonialism in the Arab world. An AMESALL degree will give you a strong working knowledge of the major social and cultural movements in the history of these connected regions and the language proficiency you will acquire on the way will prepare you for a job market in a world where the center of business, politics and intellectual wonder is increasingly moving east and south.

Your study of the Humanities will provide you with the strongest foundation for a lifetime of learning, by empowering you to think more creatively and critically about a wide array of subjects—and not merely training you to focus on a single one. The latest data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that the average American has changed jobs an average of 11.3 times from the ages of 18 to 46. While some degrees may very well train you for the very first job that you take, a solid liberal arts education will prepare you for all of them.

Within the liberal arts, the study of Foreign Languages and Literatures holds the distinction for leading into the most lucrative careers. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the top-paying liberal arts majors for 2014 graduates were in Foreign Languages and Literatures, with an average starting salary of $46,900. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that foreign language Translation and Interpretation (T&I) is the fifth fastest growing occupation in America, well ahead of nearly every other profession, including contractors, physician’s assistants, medical secretaries, and physical therapists. Even if you aren’t interested in pursuing a career in T&I, knowledge of a foreign language and the cultural competency that comes with the study of literatures in other languages are both skills that are highly sought by employers in the global marketplace. Since Rutgers is the only university within the Big Ten that does not require you to study a foreign language while you are pursuing your degree, you will be at a huge disadvantage compared to graduates from our sister schools when you enter the job market or apply for graduate studies, if you do not opt to study a foreign language.

Finally, the languages specifically offered by AMESALL have been designated as “critical need languages” by the US Department of State as well as other departments and agencies of the United States federal government. In addition to broadening your horizons and introducing you to peoples and cultures around the globe, AMESALL will also provide you with the keys to a variety of rewarding occupations in both the private and the public sectors.