6 Reasons to Learn a Foreign Language in College

College is one of the best places to learn a foreign language since several universities offer various foreign language courses. So why be surprised when someone speaks to you in Spanish when you can respond with  Mucho Gusto. Spanish remains one of the most offered courses and a language favored by learners too. Learning a language, other than your native language, can help broaden your horizons and increase your career opportunities. They also keep your learning self on their toes and give the much needed boost to the expanding learning centre of the brain.

There are also other benefits to learning a foreign language: 

  1. Helps you appreciate other cultures: A good way to learn about the culture of another country or region is to start by learning its language. From literature to music and movies, you’ll be able to better understand and appreciate a culture by being able to understand its language. Learning about other cultures will teach you to get along with people from different cultural backgrounds. 
  1. Improves your memory: Studies have shown that bilinguals and multilinguals have better short-term memory compared to monolinguals. Attempting to recall one word in different languages improves your brain’s ability to retain and retrieve information. This duolingo post gives a great account of how it challenges one’s brain power. 
  1. Makes international travel easy: Be it a business trip or a vacation, knowing more than one language can come in handy. Being able to converse with local people of a region will help you efficiently navigate at times when you can’t rely on the internet connectivity or digital maps. Knowing the language of a region separates a traveler from other tourists. People in other countries are appreciative of foreigners who can speak the local language. This adds a certain joy to the experience of travelling that those who do not know the language cannot access. 
  1. Makes you more marketable: Knowing a foreign language will give you more career opportunities. You can work for either private organizations or government agencies. You can also become a teacher. You can apply for a job in other countries. Knowing multiple languages will give your job application an advantage over others while being shortlisted for a job overseas. 
  1. Makes you a better communicator: Language often creates a communication barrier between people. Knowing more than one language will help you become an effective communicator. Misunderstandings resulting from miscommunication can be minimized if you can speak more than one language. You’ll also learn to better express yourself. 
  1. Helps you become a better person: Your knowledge about people from different cultures will make you more appreciative of their journeys. Learning about the trials and tribulations of others will help you become more inclusive. Being able to understand people from different backgrounds can also help you become more perceptive, which in turn helps you become a better individual. Your willingness to help others will increase when you’re able to communicate with them which will help you understand them better. 

Knowing a foreign language can not only make you look cool, but can also help you develop useful skills like verbal skills, problem-solving skills, and other cognitive skills. Being bilingual or multilingual can help you make great progress personally and professionally. Remember to invest time on it when at college!

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