The fuss around foreign languages has never lost a point of popularity. In this constantly developing world that is becoming more and more globalized, foreign languages are not growing out of fashion any time soon. So, learning an extra one will never be useless.
You can be an employee, entrepreneur or an international student learning for a university degree. As long as you know a foreign language, the extra ace up your sleeve will prove its worth. There are studies which claim that “learning a foreign language can increase the size of your brain”, according to The Guardian.
There are countless more advantages of learning a foreign language, even if among them there are examples such as knowing the lyrics to a song or discovering a work of literature in its original form. Imagine how fun this could all be during summer!
As many and significant as the reasons might be, learning a foreign language is an option you should consider especially while studying abroad.
First day: Find your options!
There are three sides to choosing what to study in a summer language course, even if you aim for personal growth or career advancement. However, the options below are just recommendations, based on studies and articles:
- Aim for the most popular! What can be safer than a language which is spread worldwide and talked throughout more than one country? Of course, those that are also the native languages of employers. The top-five languages that bring you plenty of opportunities are German, French, Spanish, Mandarin and Polish.
- Decide upon the special ones! There also are highly demanded languages which may be widespread, but are not among the most popular ones in any country. These are also known as “the expensive ones”, especially in industries related to translations. Some of the “underground”, but popular languages you can study are Arabic, Turkish, Korean, Hindi and Farsi.
- You can also broaden your range of options by looking for the most popular language programmes worldwide. Some of them are Chinese, Portuguese, Russian, Greek and Ukrainian.
Day two: Take care of your job!
While knowing a second language may help you find the job of your dreams, it can also help you keep or advance at your current job. This is especially true if you're working in an industry where companies continuously look to expand their business globally or relocate overseas. A summer language program doesn't take up all of your free time, so it offers a good opportunity to learn a new language without sacrificing your work.
When you have an extensive knowledge of main language spoken in the region where your company is relocating, you can become an indispensable asset to your firm. A summer language program can prepare you to become a bridge in the possible cultural gap that is sure to exist between the two locations.
Also, you can strengthen your vocabulary and skills by taking language classes that are specialized in business and train your in that specific field.
Day three: Let the job market scan you!
Foreign languages could qualify as the key to a job in the international environment, whether you aim for the public or private sector. In most cases, speaking a foreign language is an essential requirement. Other times, this may be the skill that places you in front of other candidates. You may have seen job announcements such as “knowing X foreign language is not mandatory, but preferred”. This time you can just be the winner in this scenario.
Some jobs are tightly connected to foreign languages and might come in handy, on short term. You can become a part-time or project-based translator, interpreter, linguist or even a language teacher. This can happen in your organization, in order to bridge the language gap between it and foreign entities.
Day four: Notice the employment perspectives!
What can a new language do for you, besides helping you understand certain works of art, music lyrics, even cultures? At first, it will bring you additional compensation and/or opportunities even inside your company. Learning a new language will ease your communication to a certain area of the world, and you can specialize in it.
Multinational companies are environments where development is strongly encouraged and the connections with other countries form rapidly. If you like the American lifestyle, you might even apply for a position in the Language Services Section of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. In this department, you could be providing translation or other language-related services to various law enforcement establishments.
If you are planning to start your own business, the foreign language you’ve learned during summer will help you study that particular market and even come up with fresh ideas. All of these advantages come after a summer when you’ve decided to mix relaxation with useful times spent in a language school.