I spent four years doing a modern languages degree and I loved it! Here’s why you should consider doing one too.
1. It isn’t just learning vocabulary
Despite the title photo, a languages degree isn’t just grammar and practicing your accent. Most programmes will have literature, film, art, linguistics modules (and more!) so you can fully immerse yourself into another culture. Literature is what I love and I got to read books written from 1170 to 2008 – often at the same time!
2. You get to travel
Most languages degrees require students to spend their 3rd year abroad and then come back for the final 4th year. This is such an incredible opportunity. I went to university in Paris and then taught English in Austria but some of my friends went as far as Argentina, La Réunion, and Canada! The point of the year is to build up your fluency but also to experience life in that country and culture and this usually ends us meaning doing lots of eating – be it baguettes, paella, or pasta.
3. You become fluent in another language
This might sound obvious (and it is!) but being able to rock up to your holiday destination and chat to the locals is such an incredible feeling. You might later want to move countries and another language is a brilliant tool to make that transition so much easier. Also, once you have learnt one language then other (similar) languages become easier to learn. Lots ofprogrammes let you take up a new language – I did this and took German: it was hard but so interesting.
4. It is useful for SO many career paths
Just because you have a languages degree does not mean you can only become a languages teacher. Being a teacher is a brilliant, difficult, rewarding job but there are other things you can do with a languages degree. The obvious ones are directly related, such as translator or interpreter, but the skills you learn are transferable: for example, I have friends who now work in fashion, banking, publishing, and retail management. Languages degrees are also a bonus if you work at an international company!
5. Access to another culture
A languages degree means that you will have an understanding of a different country’s history, politics, literature, music, film industry and so much more. That knowledge is great to help you get a deeper understanding of your own culture but on a more superficial level it means that you have more books, films, poetry, theatre, music all at your finger tips. It also makes you look like an intellectual when you are reading some high brow German literature on the bus!
I absolutely loved my languages degree and tbis is the second in a series of posts all about applying to higher education, the experience at university, and then moving on to masters or doctoral level too!
You can find out more about my PhD experience here.