My name is Owen Cox and I am from New
Rochelle, New York. When I first came to Notre Dame I was looking for languages
to choose as my foreign language requirement and I saw that they had Arabic and I thought, that’s cool! So I started that and I realized that I really liked the
language. I looked at the different course requirements for the major and I
saw that they were really interesting. So I took them for one semester and I ended up liking it so much that I just stuck with it. The language classes are pretty
rigorous. I mean, there is a lot of vocab to go over, a lot of grammar to study.
When you first started you looked at those chapters and thought there is no way I’m
gonna be able to do this! But once you get past them and you look back, those are the simple words you know off the top of your head and so that’s a really
enjoyable thing – to really see the progression. I also enjoy just their wide
spectrum of types of classes to take. I really like
history and I like stories and so to go back and look at sources and read about
Muslim philosophers or Arab scientists, I mean, it’s really interesting learning
about the culture that really affected everything else in the modern day.
Because the major is relatively small it’s a lot more tight-knit. So you get to
know all of the faculty during your time here. Through the Summer Language Abroad Program I went to study in Amman, Jordan. It was a great experience. It helped me
in so many ways: developing my worldview, letting me see other cultures, and learn
about them academically with my language. I know for a fact that I improved
phenomenally while I was there. I mean, after one month I can go up to a
Jordanian guy in a shop and just just shoot the breeze with him. I think doing
something with the government in the State Department, maybe working at an
embassy, would be really good because then I could make use of my Arabic skills. I really love majoring in Arabic. It gives you a chance to
really explore tons of new things and there are these little connections that
you can make. If you are interested in Arabic specifically, state your curiosity!
It’s really rewarding! I love it!