Portuguese is the sixth most commonly spoken language in the world. You probably know that it’s the official language of Brazil (the largest country in Latin America, with the eighth largest economy in the world), and of course Portugal (including the archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira). But you might not know that it’s also the official language of several other countries (known as Lusophone speaking countries): Cape Verde, Angola, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, East Timor, São Tomé and Príncipe. Portuguese is also an official language in Equatorial Guinea (along with Spanish and French) and in Macau (along with Chinese).
Why Portuguese at URI?
Southern New England is the home of a large Portuguese speaking community comprised by (Portuguese, Brazilians and Cape Verdeans). Over 10% of Rhode Islanders claim Lusophone ancestry, making it the highest percentage of any state in the union. In neighboring Massachusetts, Portuguese speakers are the second linguistic group, an estimated 800,000 to one million. This is why URI has a constant demand for Portuguese classes from students that either want to learn the language and culture of their ancestors, or want to improve their language skills so that they may use the language beyond the classroom.
Because of the growing popularity of Portuguese as a language choice, we’ve just launched a new advanced Portuguese course for students who are interested in further pursuing their Portuguese studies. The department of Languages supports Portuguese studies and plans to provide other opportunities for students in the near future. Come study Portuguese at URI, it will allow you to grow beyond the borders of your world and perspectives!
There are plenty of job opportunities for Portuguese speakers right here in Rhode Island and in nearby Massachusetts, due to the demographics mentioned above. And if you study Portuguese with a minor or a major in areas like business, engineering or marketing, you will have ample opportunities to work for the United States government enterprises in Lusophone countries, engineering companies in Angola, Timor and Brazil, renewable energies or innovated textile industries in Portugal, the World Bank and the United Nations, just to name a few career opportunities.