Hello Students!

HELLO STUDENTS!! Everyone in Romance Languages and Literatures (RLL) is excited to start the new school year, and we welcome all of our newcomers and our returning undergraduates back to Cambridge! #RLLproud

Here’s what’s happening over at RLL:

• We're proud of the amazingly talented community of students and scholars who roam the upper floors of Boylston, chattering away in the enchanting sounds of Catalan, French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.

• This kind of daily interaction, along with coursework, travel and study abroad provide our concentrators with the opportunity to embrace the Romance languages and become communicatively competent in symbolic exchanges between cultures.

• Lively dialogue with faculty and graduate students allows our community to discover ways of understanding language, literature, translation, music, visual art, theatre and cinema in historical context.

• We offer ample opportunity to explore issues of gender, race, politics and the environment at a global level.

• RLL means real life learning: Our concentration prepares students for a broad array of immediate career options, and for advanced study in the humanities and social sciences.

• Our concentrators acquire the theoretical and practical tools for interpretation, and carry those skills into their work as teachers, public health providers, lawyers, physicians, legislators, diplomats, bankers, entrepreneurs and global citizens.

• But what about you? Throughout the year share your pictures and stories through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram with #RLLproud and keep our community engaged.

FRESHMEN!! You made it! Exciting opening days, with exciting times ahead. Everyone is telling you to make the most of these next four years. You've got a lot of planning to do. Let us help you explore the possibilities (take one of our Freshman Seminars and GenEd courses), change your perspectives (take an Intro to RLL lit, culture, history), work through other ways of expressing yourself (our language courses are tops!). Here and during a summer abroad. Stop by RLL anytime, leave us your contact information, and we'll send out some vibes from the vortex of cool!

Study/Travel/Intern Abroad: We want you to go away, so you can come back to RLL & stay!

Highlight of your Freshman Year? Housing Day! 
Highlight of your Sophomore Year? Declaration of Concentration Day! 
Well, it may not be as outrageous and there may not be T-shirts and face paint, but if that's what it takes to declare with RLL, we'll provide the noisemakers and the party hats, too. JK! But, we do promise it will be just as exciting as Housing Day, if not more, because RLL will become your home. You'll be part of a bustling community of language and culture seekers, ready to share their experiences and passion. And once you get beyond Declaration of Concentration Day, which this year is Tuesday, November 12, think about a semester immersed in a Romance-speaking culture – you'll be amazed by the choices and the experience!

Study/Travel/Intern Abroad: A chance for you to explore away, so you can come back to RLL & stay!

JUNIORS… This is going to be an intense year. Lots of serious studying ahead: this is the year you really get to know your Special Field within the concentration. Whether it's French and Francophone Studies, Italian Studies, Portuguese and Brazilian Studies, Spanish, Latin American and Latino Studies, or Romance Studies, you will gather all the evidence to support your concentration choice. RLL is the place to call home.

But you still have serious decisions to make: To thesis or not to thesis, that's the question. (Hey, if 'google' is a verb, why not 'thesis'?) No worries! Our excellent advising team and community of seniors and graduate students are ready to talk through your options and help you decide on the path that's right for you. Maybe you'll spend the fall or the spring semester abroad, building up the momentum for a thesis (remember the Junior Tutorial), or amassing experience that will serve you in future negotiations on the job market. 

And if come May, you haven't lived in your Romance-speaking culture yet, summer's a great time to travel abroad for thesis research (in archives and/or on the streets), or maybe to work on that capstone project (video documentaries, anyone?), or gain valuable work experience through an internship (recruiting awaits you when you get back!). Take the time. We'll help you find the program that's right for you.

SENIORS. This. Is. Your. Senior. Year. AHHH!!! Unbelievable, right?!?!?
Maybe you're just coming back from who knows where: study in France, Italy, Argentina or Brazil with a grant from OIE; an internship at a non-profit in Chile with a grant from DRCLAS; recording fado in Portugal with the help of a Dressler Family Grant; working on a farm in Sicily with the help of a Diaco Grant. Or maybe you spent the summer at a consulting firm, expanding the boundaries of your cubicle with fantastic memories of the Romance countries you'd already explored. No matter, now it's time to wrap up your Harvard/RLL experience with gusto. 

Take those electives you've always wanted to take, but never had the time. Finish up with your Gen Ed requirements (not a chore, just more to explore… about yourself). Do some fun extracurricular activities – sing, act, craft, paint, volunteer, lead – because you never know who you'll meet or what skills you'll pick up that you can tuck away and pull out at a moment's notice as you begin a new adventure outside the Harvard bubble. 

And for those of you writing a thesis, get ready for the blood, sweat, tears and feeling of immense joy and satisfaction when you present your opus at the Senior Colloquium – work that you own and that no one else quite wrote about before. 

Speaking of the Senior Colloquium, which is on Friday, April 29 this year, ALL our seniors are welcome to present at the Colloquium. Theses, capstone projects, photo essays, you name it, we want to hear about and see it!


Be sure to check the RLL News and Events calendar regularly and often for updates and other must-see/must-do events. We're a happening place, and you wouldn't want to miss out: http://rll.fas.harvard.edu/news