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Why Study Portuguese?

Video: 3 students' perspectives

The following video highlights the benefits of studying Portuguese at Northwestern, from the perspectives of three of the department's students.

© 2010, Northwestern University / Video Credits:

Thanks to: Students Christopher Ahern, Cassandra Blohowiak and Asim Jaweed for sharing their experiences and photos from their journeys; Cecile Sison/Multimedia Learning Center for videography, editing and production; Laura Kick/WeinbergIT for final editing and production.                                    

7 reasons to study Portuguese at Northwestern University

1) The Portuguese Program at Northwestern University offers different courses on Language, Lusophone Culture and Brazilian Literature as well as Study Abroad Programs. Our students have won important fellowships such as the Fulbright and the Circumnavigators.

2) Portuguese is one of the official languages of the European Union. Spoken by about 230 million people, Portuguese is the sixth most widely spoken language in the world, before German (10th), French (11th) and Italian (15th).

3) Portuguese is spoken all over the world: in Europe (Portugal and Portuguese islands), in Africa (Angola, Moçambique, Guiné-Bissau, São Tomé e Príncipe), in Asia (East Timor, Macau, Goa) and of course… in South America (Brazil). There is a large community of Portuguese and Brazilian immigrants in the United States, and the Portuguese language has become commonly spoken in several areas of the US.

4) Economy: Brazil is the 5th largest country in the world with the 8th largest economy. Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo are among the biggest urban centers in the Americas.

5) Art: The Portuguese novelist Jose Saramago was the winner of the 1999 Noble Prize for Literature. Brazilian music, festivities and movies are very much appreciated all over the world!

6) Sports: Brazil is the only country that has won the World Soccer Cup five times! In the Beijing Olympic Games, Brazil won several medals, including a Gold Medal for Women's Volleyball, a Silver Medal for Men's Volleyball and Women's Soccer. Brazil 
hosted the 2007 Pan-American Games, the 2014 World Soccer Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games!

7) You will certainly enjoy our Portuguese classes, which are high-tech and fun!

                     2014-2015 Portuguese Program Activities

Video produced by student Gabriela Dago

For more information, please contact Ana Thome Williams at


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