Can you picture yourself speaking Chinese during a business meeting? Talking to your patient in Spanish at a hospital? Translating documents from Arabic to English in your position at a US Embassy? No matter what career field you’re looking to work in, having a second language may give you the added skill needed do excel. Learning a foreign language can set you apart from your peers in today’s competitive and globalized job market.
If you’re like many students, you stopped taking language courses after meeting the basic requirements set by your school. However, careers of the future may require a greater understanding of non-English languages and thus preparing for the future can involve taking your language skills to the next level. The best way to achieve a next level understanding of your language skills is to immerse yourself in your target language abroad!
Here are a few reasons how studying your target language abroad can take you to the next level.
Achieving fluency in your target language is the most obvious reason to study a foreign language abroad. From behind a desk in a US classroom, comprehensive understanding of a foreign language can easily elude you. On the other hand, studying a foreign language abroad will give you the opportunity to experience your language first-hand; practice daily with native speakers, deepen your comprehension, and increase your confidence.
Rather than sit at a desk studying words on a page, you will have the opportunity to experience the language as you shop, eat, and hang out with local friends. Words and sentences that once seemed abstract will become more clear and full of new meaning because of your understanding of their cultural origins; something that the prompts in your language text cannot replicate.
Graduation Requirements and Language Exams
Studying a foreign language abroad can prepare you to pass required language exams at your home school more quickly or complete your major faster than your peers who only study in the US. Students who study abroad for a semester commonly return home with stronger language skills than their classmates. Their language professors are often surprised at their language growth, especially with vocabulary and grammar use.
Your future is waiting and language immersion may be the next level experience you need to get there!
Author: Antonio Reyes