There are many different cultures and religions associated with Southern Asia. This rich culture and diversity lends itself to several different languages and dialects spoken throughout the region. There are many different countries encompassed in what we would consider South Asia and because of this there are many different concentrations within this major. They include Hindi, Sanskrit and Classical Indian Languages, Bengali, Punjabi, Tamil, and Urdu Language and Literature.
In any one of these concentrations you will take Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced Language Courses, Asian Literature, Religions of India, Buddhism in contemporary society, Art of Southeast Asian, and Classical Asian civilization.
Attention to detail and a love for culture are two important predictors of success in this major. Students will need determination and persistence in mastering difficult pronunciation and complex grammar and syntax. Students who love art, history and literature will find delving into the culture of Southeast Asia fascinating and rewarding.
If you know you would like to pursue this as a major, there are some things you can do to prepare ahead of time. High School students should try to take language courses as well as World Religions, World History, Human Geography, and Asian culture. Take advantage of study abroad programs while in college in order to gain valuable experience speaking the language and living in the culture.
There are many different career paths graduates can take. Students may choose to pursue a career in education teaching language, literature or religion. Those who are interested in foreign relations may wish to pursue a job as a Foreign Service Officer promoting American business and political interest in other countries. Graduates may also find work as Interpreters and Translators.
Here is a small sample of the careers that a degree in South Asian Languages might open up.