After Harvard, Another Elite University Adds Albanian Language Into Curriculum

United States Albania North America Higher Education News by Erudera News Nov 06, 2023

University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania, one of the eight prestigious Ivy League institutions, has decided to integrate the course on the Albanian language into its curriculum, beginning in the Spring semester of 2024.

The announcement was made by Ballina Prishtina, an Albanian student who graduated from the University of Pennsylvania this May and played an important role in convincing the university to start teaching the Albanian language, Erudera.com reports.

She said that the reason behind her advocacy to add Albanian as a subject in the university's curriculum is because it is a language that had survived hundreds of years under occupation. Prishtina said she wants to see the language alive for many more years.

She further said that the course would serve as a vehicle for several generations of Albanian Americans to be able to speak the language for generations to come.

"I hope we all understand what a historic moment this is for our group [of Albanian students at this university], for our beautiful and unique language to be taught at the oldest American university," she wrote on Facebook.

Prishtina encouraged all students to take the course and make a significant impact on their education at this university, just like dedicated individuals advocating for their people and wanting to keep their language spoken and alive.

Interested students will be able to enroll in the course "Elementary Albanian," the introductory level of the language, which will be offered in the Language Department at Penn.

Albanian language was introduced as a subject earlier this year at Harvard as well, the oldest university in the US. Albanian classes at Harvard began in April in the Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations (NELC) department.

There are other universities in the US where students can study the Albanian language, including:

  • Arizona State University
  • DePaul University
  • Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, New York

The Albanian language belongs to the Indo-European language family. According to a recent scientific article published in Science magazine, Albanian is one of the ancient Indo-European languages that remains in use.

Researchers have presented evidence that Albanians and their language are at least 6000 years old.

The University of Pennsylvania was founded 283 years ago, and today it enrolls 28,201 students, of which 23,559 are full-time and 4,642 part-time students.

Penn received applications from more than 59,000 students for the Class of 2027, marking the university's largest-ever first-year applicant pool. These students were admitted through QuestBridge Match, Early Decision, and Regular Decision rounds.

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