Studying a language in a different country is an excellent opportunity to develop skills which are highly valued in the professional world.
Adapting to new situations
Going abroad to inhabit a different culture and language sets us outside of our comfort zone. We are impelled to adapt. This happens subconsciously, and helps us integrate into new work environments or new team situations. This
skill can’t be taught; it must be experienced first hand, and having this experience will be particularly valued when applying for positions abroad
or to international companies.
Travelling opens the mind to new cultures and new ways of thinking and communicating. We constantly notice similarities and differences and become experts at comparing and contrasting these. When meeting someone from a different nationality, we are able to not just interpret their words, but also discern the subtleties of their cultural communication. Being able to do this without an interpreter, and negotiate in your client’s or colleague’s language is a great advantage. You will also be able to contribute valuable opinions in a debate, something your colleagues will not necessarily be able to do.
When confronted with new knowledge, the brain establishes a process of questioning this new content. Through observation of people’s behaviour, traditions and ways of thinking, we continually compare the causes and consequences of this with what we already know.
Unexpected abilities are mobilised when faced with an emergency situation abroad. Problems you would tackle in your stride at home can seem overwhelming in an unfamiliar setting. Thinking on your feet with a cool head in response to such events will be a much sought after skill from an employer’s point of view.
Going beyond the boundaries of your knowledge and culture, meeting different people,
visiting new places, living in a host family; these are all experiences that will stimulate new connections and feed the imagination.