Upon returning to Australia from my several years of backpacking, I was incredibly conscious that my choice of university and program would be my next key defining moment. In my time abroad I had developed a great passion for the Middle East; its culture, people, and languages and as such I sought a university that would help me expand my knowledge and passion for this remarkable region. I chose to come to ANU as it was not only one of the few Australian universities to offer world-renowned degrees in Middle Eastern and Central Asian studies, but it is also the only university in Australia to teach Persian language alongside an amazing Arabic language program.
At ANU, our Persian teachers are passionate about their language and heritage; happily spending hours with their small, close-knit classes to work through the intricacies of this old and beautiful language. The readings and class discussion give fascinating insights into the culture and history of Iran, while regular Persian cooking classes help to blend the love of language with delicious Persian delicacies.
The Arabic program is perfectly designed to make what many people believe to be an intimidating and difficult language, into a thrilling and enjoyable adventure. The wonderfully designed, reasonably paced program is accentuated by the devoted and passionate teaching staff. The teachers in both programs also ensure that we learn not only the language, but also the stories, cultural insights, and the history of the people of Middle East.
Studying these similar, yet vastly different, languages has been one of the hardest intellectual challenges of my life, but it has also been vastly rewarding. In particular, I am excited by the opportunities offered by the Applied Arabic and Applied Persian courses. These summer session courses give students the chance to travel to the Middle East and work on their language skills in-country; a unique and valuable experience that I would highly recommend.
It is my hope that these two highly desirable languages, along with the specialisation offered by my Bachelor of Middle East and Central Asian studies, will place me in a prime position to leap from university straight into the field of diplomacy, ideally through the Graduate Program offered by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.