Become a true global citizen
Welcome to the School of International Letters and Cultures
Don’t just consume culture. Understand it.
Language proficiency and cultural awareness are necessary to truly engage with the world and others. The School of International Letters and Cultures is ASU’s primary unit for education and research on global cultures and languages. We enable you to achieve high levels of language skills and rich cultural knowledge that will help you succeed as an informed citizen and professional in an increasingly globalized world. Are you ready to become a citizen of the modern world?
Together, our potential is limitless
When you invest in the School of International Letters and Cultures, you help support our goal to educate students to become multilingual and globally informed citizens of today’s complex world. In addition, philanthropy provides an extra measure of support for our faculty, research initiatives and community programs that could otherwise not be reached. Together, we can impact the lives of many.
Why study languages and cultures ASU?
The study of languages and cultures has always been one of the most rewarding of human activities. In today’s increasingly global environment, intercultural and interdisciplinary communication and knowledge have unprecedented value. In the School of International Letters and Cultures at Arizona State University, we provide spaces for students who want to engage with and celebrate cultural diversity.
East and Southeast Asian Letters and Cultures
The languages we offer in this program belong to at least four distinct language families—include some of the most widely spoken languages in the world. East and Southeast Asia are among the most populated and culturally rich regions on earth, with over two billion people. Broadly speaking, East and Southeast Asia lie south of Russia, east of the five republics of the former Soviet Union (now Central Asia) and Southern Asia and north of Australia.
French and Italian Letters and Cultures
French and Italian have been pre-eminent languages of literature, philosophy, science and the arts. French and Italian authors such as Dante, Petrarch, Ariosto, Pirandello, Descartes, Voltaire, Sand, and Sartre, to name but a few, have been among the most important writers in the West. Today, both languages have a global reach. French is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world, with 110 million native speakers and 110 million secondary speakers around the globe. Besides being one of the official languages of the European Union, Italian is the official language of Italy, the Republic of San Marino, Vatican City, and regions of Switzerland, Slovenia, and Croatia for a total of 68 million speakers worldwide.
German, Romanian and Slavic letters and cultures
The faculty in German, Romanian and Slavic Letters and Cultures engage some of Europe’s most diverse languages from across Central and Eastern Europe: German, Romanian, Russian, Polish, and Bosnian-Serbo-Croatian. Through our course offerings, you can begin learning any one (or more!) of these languages or improve your proficiency in them. You can explore literary works by internationally known authors such as Ionesco, Goethe, Nabokov, Jelinek, Kafka, Müller, Eliade, Tolstoy; enjoy and learn from the innovative filmmaking practices across this culturally rich region; and delve into critical issues surrounding politics, migration, language and cultural identity, ethnic and religious conflict, and memory.
Spanish and Portuguese Letters and Cultures
Spanish is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world and in the United States. It’s a very useful language if you live in the U.S. or if you are planning to live or travel abroad! The Spanish language program in SILC offers two tracks for students to learn Spanish. Today over 270 million people speak Portuguese worldwide. It is the third most-spoken language in the Western Hemisphere and number one in the Southern Hemisphere. It is a language worth learning!
American Sign Language
The American Sign Language (ASL) program is housed in the School of International Letters and Cultures. It offers a four-semester sequence of ASL designed to meet the undergraduate foreign language requirement of the university. All courses use an immersion method that prohibits the use of spoken language. Periodically, additional courses are offered to augment this program. These additional courses are offered on a semester-to-semester basis.
Our centers and initiatives
The Humanities Lab at ASU is designed as an experimental space in which interdisciplinary faculty teams work with students from a variety of academic and cultural backgrounds to investigate grand social challenges, to construct researchable questions that delve deeply into those challenges, and to generate possible approaches to complex, “wicked” issues like immigration, health, and climate change, for which there are no easy answers.
Chinese Language Flagship Center
The ASU Chinese Language Flagship Center offers a dynamic undergraduate program for highly motivated students interested in achieving a professional level of Chinese proficiency while simultaneously pursuing any major of their choice. Our programs attract students who are among the best learners of Chinese in the nation.
Centers, institutes and councils
Our centers, institutes and councils reflect our dedication to examining languages, literature and cultures, developing collaborative spaces to work with others in changing the world.