Why study languages at university?

Why study languages at university? by senorjerome

This article was written by Global Graduates, published on 18th January 2011 and has been read 38552 times.

So you're about to face those dreaded A-levels and people are giving you advice/hell about where to go and what to study at university. The chances are (if you've landed on this site) you're considering studying a language at degree-level. We might be biased, but it's an absolutely FANTASTIC idea! Here's why...

You have a highly respected and envied skill - not everyone has the capacity to learn languages; in the UK, there are only 80,000 linguists out of 490,000 students, each academic year. You will leave university with a degree AND fluency in a foreign language making you a very desirable job candidate. You will have a really good excuse to go abroad during your university holidays... 

Within your course you will not only study the language, you will cover history, art, literature, society, and a lot more, so you can specialise in whichever area you like best! You can study a language with another subject like Business, Modern History, Law or History of Art as a Joint Degree to keep your career options wide open. 

You get to spend a year abroad! Your year abroad will make you more independent, self-confident and motivated, and is widely recognised as the most fun year of the university career. If you are hard-up at home or abroad, you can tutor students in English/your language of choice - languages are easier to teach than many other subjects. You will have a unique insight into foreign cultures and traditions, which will help you become a bridge between countries; very appealing to global employers. 

When it comes to job interviews, you will have a LOT to say. You can offer the possibility of international business to any company you want to work for. You have great employment prospects: check out these 100 inspiring graduate career case studies. When you are finally in the workplace, you will constantly hear people saying "I wish I could speak xxxxxx!" You already can! Still not persuaded? Here are 700 reasons for learning languages. 

And here's a case study: "Two weeks ago I found myself working at Berlin Fashion Week. It should have come as no surprise that the incredibly young, high-achieving manager of the Fashion Week venue was a modern languages graduate. Watching him interact, switching between English, Italian, Spanish and German instilled in me a standard to aspire to. What was even more impressive was seeing the reactions from those he was talking to. Rather than insisting on an English language monopoly, as so many have done, he showed himself to be adaptable linguistically, and consequently commanded the utmost respect of anyone he talked to. This produced incredible results – his volunteer team were eager to please, the designers did not make unreasonable demands, and the models stayed behind to drink and chat, well beyond their contract hours." Read more.

Here's a university survival video to help you prepare for September...

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