During O-week in my first year (also my first week in Canberra) I attended an information session held by the Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies and it was there that I learned about the Persian language program at the centre.
I am currently studying a Bachelor of Development Studies and as part of my degree, I can incorporate a language minor. So in my first year, I had the difficult decision of choosing a language from all of the options on offer at ANU. I have had a longstanding interest in the Middle East and have family based in the region, so Arabic seemed like the natural choice. During O-week in my first year (also my first week in Canberra) I attended an information session held by the Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies (CAIS) and it was there that I learned about the Persian language program at the centre. ANU is the only university in Australia to offer a Persian language program; deeply incorporating culture, history and the arts into rigorous language instruction. I opted to take the road less travelled and decided there and then that I would study Persian and I have enjoyed every minute of my Persian program since.
Like all language study, it can be challenging at times, but hard work is duly rewarded and noticing the improvement in my abilities over the last two years has been incredibly satisfying. The quality of the teaching has been outstanding. All the teachers are patient and supportive and have a wealth of expertise in the history, literature and culture of the Persian-speaking world. Outside of the classroom, there are plenty of opportunities to engage with the wider Persian community in Canberra and the ANU Persian Society holds movie nights, conversation practice sessions and other cultural events.
I would highly recommend the Persian program to anyone at all interested in the region or anyone who would like to delve into one of the world’s great cultures.