Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures

DEPARTMENT OF

Languages, Literatures and Cultures

DEPARTMENT OF

Languages, Literatures and Cultures

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Ioana Petrar-Silca

Ioana is a third year student, pursuing a major in Psychology and a minor in World Language Studies. Choosing a minor wasn't a difficult choice, because Ioana loves languages:

"Hola, bonjour, hello, buna – these are just a couple of different ways to greet the prospective World Languages Student!
Languages are what connect us all, what set us apart, what bring us together and what open new doors; they've always been my passion. Growing up speaking Romanian, then learning English, then tapping into a bit of French in elementary school all sparked a huge interest in the study of languages, and made me begin to pursue Spanish when I was in high school. To me, it only made sense that I'd continue my studies of French and Spanish throughout first year, and then minor in World Language Studies.

This minor gives you the opportunity to study two languages, perhaps one you're comfortable with and one that you don't speak a word of. Being bilingual, trilingual, etc. makes any candidate that much more attractive to a potential employer, and also dissolves any borders as traveling becomes easier. Would you like to work in France? Have an exchange in Spain? I sure do! I chose to study French and Spanish for my World Languages minor, because I love romantic languages and I can almost always make a connection between the three Latin languages I now speak. Furthermore, English, French, and Spanish are all in the top ten languages spoken across the world, making it easier to travel, meet new people, and indulge in other cultures. After I graduate from Queen's, I plan to do a cross-Europe trip and can't wait to put my language skills to good use.

My minor also helps me in a number of ways. As a psychology major, it opens doors for me if I decide to practice clinical psychology, because I can study and work in Quebec after I graduate from Queen's, go to the United States where Spanish is common, or apply my knowledge in Europe, South America, the Caribbean, and even parts of Africa! Secondly, the Languages, Literatures and Cultures department is a tight-knit family where it's easy to get to know your professors vice versa,  helping immensely when a recommendation will be required to apply to grad school. Thirdly, languages enhance my communication skills, which are critical for becoming a psychologist. The more languages I speak, the easier it'll be to connect with those who seek my help in the future, but perhaps aren't fluent in English. Lastly, languages can be put to practical use, so if I decide to use my psychology degree to work in Services or Human Resources, for example, I'll be a more attractive candidate to potential employers because the number of people I can communicate with isn't limited to solely English-speaking countries. I've actually already used my knowledge in a work setting, because when I was working at Queen's Student Life Centre, one person called to ask me about ESL classes, and she spoke only French. In that exact moment, I was so relieved that I could understand her questions and respond in her mother tongue, because in times like these, Google Translate really can't help you!

In case you're still unsure that Languages, Literatures and Cultures is the best department ever, consider the professors, who always go out of their way for students. In first year, my professors volunteered to give us a three-hour review before exams, brought Venezuelan chips for everyone to try in class as a cultural experience, and even brought a guitar to tutorial to sing "Feliz Navidad" before winter break! There's no department I've ever felt so comfortable and welcome in, and as a first year who felt quite lost in the beginning, I was so grateful to have this little family.

Choosing to minor in World Language Studies has so far been one of my wisest decisions, and I really can't rave about it enough! Whether you're looking to speak more languages, learn about different cultures, or to simply enjoy a couple of fun, engaging courses that may help you in your travels, this minor is right for you. Plus, if you take it, you'll get to end long profiles like this: hasta la vista, au revoir, goodbye, and la revedere! "