by Dana Guth, A17
This year, Bill Gates shared with the world his biggest professional
regret: never having learned another language. Gates held an open
dialogue on the online forum Reddit and, in response to Facebook
founder Mark Zuckerberg's quick mastery of Mandarin in order to host
a Q&A with Chinese students, lamented that he felt "pretty stupid"
for missing opportunities to study French, Arabic, and Chinese that
would have helped him network on a grander scale.
A core tenet of Tufts' School of Arts and Sciences curriculum is its emphasis on global living and learning, offering a choice of 11 different foreign languages. By studying a foreign language, students not only expand their own vocabularies, but also open up countless doors in the worlds of academia, art, medicine, technology, and business.
Below, three Tufts professors and three recent alumni discuss what the study of foreign languages has meant to them: