Learning a foreign language can be the key of your higher education degree
Young students are leaving more and more for training outside of their country. Going abroad is not a prerequisite for successful studies, but it allows you to discover other cultures, learn other languages… and enrich your CV.
Studying abroad is generally optional during higher education. And leaving often requires a strong motivation: long preparation time, additional costs… Even if an experience outside our borders is not essential to obtain a diploma, it constitutes a unique opportunity to discover another culture and learn a new language. In addition, a stay abroad during studies often facilitates professional integration.
- Learn a foreign language for studying
Being bilingual is the key if you are willing to study abroad. Total immersion during holiday can be a game-changer when applying for a scholarship or exchange program in the future. If you want to be really prepared to live abroad, having a strong basis in the foreign language is a great advantage. For doing studies in Spain, taking Spanish class Barcelona can make a great difference. A one-year stay is of course ideal.
Continuous practice of a language with locals is usually the best way to get fluent and maximize your level of expression and understanding in a foreign language.
Thanks to your studies, you may even have a technical vocabulary, specific to a field of competence (management, finance, communication, etc.). An invaluable asset for recruiters and studying abroad.
You will also be capable of meeting new people and building relationships with locals, and you might even decide to settle eventually. But don’t be fooled, even on the spot it takes time to become multilingual. Allow at least three months for a good command of the language.
- Essential experience in certain sectors
Since stays abroad have become commonplace, their value has changed. A few years ago, it might have been a plus on a CV but nowadays it is extremely useful when finding a job in specific disciplines.
You must therefore put in place a real strategy to stand out thanks to this experience. Your stay abroad must logically fit into your course of study but also into your professional project. How long to leave? In what framework? Why in a particular country? You need to be able to justify your choices. This experience should appear as an integral part of your journey, and not as a gap year.
- What skills do you really acquire?
Speaking English, German, Spanish, Chinese … is to have an additional means of communication. And nothing can replace the daily practice of a language. At the end of a university year, if students who have become bilingual are rare, everyone manages to express themselves fluently. This is the famous “current” level so popular in the professional world.
Handling a new language remains the first benefit of an experience abroad. But you will enrich yourself in many other ways. Back from abroad, the maturity of the students is unanimous.
- Open up to the world and open up to others
If you will feel lost in the first few days and experience cultural shocks on a daily basis, you will learn to know a culture in depth and to love it. Cinema, radio, television, food, customs, festivals, everyday life, the country you choose will no longer hold any secrets for you.
And it is by learning to know and understand others and their culture that we become more tolerant and better understand the world around us.
Studying abroad is an intense and unique experience that you only experience once. But it will give you wings and the desire to immediately set off for new horizons and new adventures!
- Have access to more information
While speaking another language, you will also be capable of accessing different sources of information that would not be available if you only stick to English. This is a very interesting asset for students who would like to run a research on a particular topic.
You will be able to read not only online articles or papers, but books in libraries or even have the bibliography in its original language for yourself! This might offer you completely different experiences towards authors and particular style details. For example, for some people poetry in its original language is way more accurate than translated versions.
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