Polytechnic and university studies usually include only a few mandatory language courses. Even if you would like to include more languages in your studies, it might be difficult to fit them into your schedule. I remember that I would have liked to study more languages in high school, but in the end, my schedule was too full of other courses and I couldn’t fit them in. Luckily, it is never too late to start learning a new language!
I have listed a few reasons for why every student should expand their skillset with a foreign language, no matter what field you major in.
- You are already in the “learning mode”
Quite simply, the routine of studying will help you manage your language learning as well. This does not mean that you cannot learn languages later in life, but it makes sense to make use of the learning mode that you are already in: the receptiveness for new skills and the routine that you have adopted while studying in your own field.
- Language skills look good in the CV
Language skills are not always considered valuable in themselves, but especially in the beginning of your career, when you have no work experience, all kinds of skills are worth bringing up. Think about all the things that a good knowledge of a foreign language on your CV can demonstrate: curiosity, interest towards other cultures, determination, persistence, an ability to learn quickly…
- Knowledge of your own field + a foreign language = a unique combination
If you are not the absolute best in your field, there is always someone who is better than you or has more experience than you. But they don’t necessarily have the same language skills as you. Maybe your combination is rare and can work as a distinctive strength in the search for work.
- Variation to studies
Even though studying a language is also studying, it can be a refreshing addition to your study program and feel completely different from struggling through the thick, theoretical books of your own professional field. In language learning, it is also easier to track your progress than in some professional studies, because testing your professional skills in practice might not be easy while you are still a student.
When you take part in a language course, you can make friends outside your own subject or class. Or maybe a language course online inspires you to get in touch with native speakers of that language online.
- More options for an exchange year or your master’s studies
You’ll have more options for an exchange year or master’s studies if you can speak several languages. Even though the course selection might include some courses in English, many institutions abroad require knowledge of the local language.
- You’ll learn more about your own field
When you learn vocabulary related to your own field, you can kill two birds with one stone: learn more about your field and improve your foreign language skills. You’ll be able to read books, articles, blogs or listen to podcasts related to your field in several languages. This will give you perspective that you can utilize in your studies.
This blog post is written by Stina Henriksson, a Finn studying fashion in English at the Via University College, Denmark, trying to use Danish in her everyday life and dreaming of reviving her lost French skills.
Director, Learning Material & Customer Relations
Language loving coffee addict and communications professional haunted by eternal wanderlust.