The stubborn myth that Classical Studies, and particularly the study of Latin, is an impractical and unprofitable pursuit, has been solidly discredited by wildly successful professionals like Mark Zuckerberg.
Zuckerberg (the Facebook founder with a $6.9 billion net worth) studied Classics in school and cites his Latin language knowledge as one of the keys to his professional success. And famed Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling minored in Classics as an undergrad.
The study of Latin offers students much more than the dry analysis of a so-called “dead” language. As Dr. Llewelyn Morgan, associate professor of Classics at Oxford University, puts it: “Latin has something that mathematics does not, and that is the history and mythology of the ancient world. Latin is maths with goddesses, gladiators and flying horses, and flying children.”
Read on to learn more about the wonderfully diverse world of Latin, and 5 good reasons to embrace its study during your time in Italy.
1. Improve Your English by Learning Latin While you Study Abroad
You might be surprised to learn that approximately 60 percent of all English words are derived from Latin. Students of Latin see significant improvements in their English spoken and written work, enjoy an expanded vocabulary, and are better prepared to de-code and understand unfamiliar words.
Learning Latin also helps students tackle specialized languages in fields like medicine and law, where much of the terminology is based on…you guessed it! Latin.
2. Latin Sharpens Your Mind (and Your Test Scores!)
Structured and precise, learning Latin imparts an attention to detail and deliberateness of thought that is extremely helpful to students across disciplines.
For example, during World War II, British codebreakers selected a group of undergraduate Latin students to learn Japanese as part of England’s war efforts. The government wanted to recruit people who could learn to decipher complex Japanese technical documents – but were told that it would take at least two years for anyone to master the language skills required.
To everyone’s surprise, the Latin students finished the job in just six months!
Their fundamental understanding of language structures, logic, and critical reasoning gave them an undeniable edge. It’s no wonder that Latin students often enjoy boosted GRE and SAT scores, and outperform their peers on critical reading and writing – another distinctly practical reason to take Latin while you study abroad in Rome.
4. Latin Deepens Your Appreciation of Classical Studies in Rome
Classical Studies students at John Cabot University get to explore original, Latin texts in the very place they were created. When you pursue your Classics bachelor’s degree abroad in Rome, you have first-hand access to rich museum collections, ancient monuments, specialized library archives, and a host of other inspiring materials.
Your understanding of Latin will help you truly get the most out of the amazing resources you uncover, and the historic sites you visit while studying abroad in Italy.
5. Studying Latin Promotes Self-Knowledge & Global Citizenship
When you pursue Classical Studies and learn Latin, you explore ancient history, philosophy, religion, mythology, archaeology, art, and more. You examine pivotal moments in history, evaluate the opinions and actions of key historical figures, and consider how these events influence the world today.
In short, you become a thinker. Through a deeper understanding of the past, Classical Studies students develop more informed and nuanced interpretations of 21st century challenges. They can tackle issues from multiple perspectives, make connections across cultures, and see beyond the borders of their own inherited traditions.
Latin may be a language of the ancient world, but those who study it are particularly well poised to become the innovators and decision-makers of tomorrow!
Ready to explore the benefits of Latin for yourself by pursuing classical studies in Rome?
Visit JCU to explore our programs, meet our students, learn about admissions, and more!