5 ways that help realize the art of language learning abroad
My name is Yeven and I live and work in Estonia, though my job in the logistics industry requires a lot of English. I've finally reached a point where I feel completely comfortable conducting business and writing emails in English, but it took me a long time to get there. One thing that helped was travelling to other countries to study the language abroad, and I'd like to share a few reasons why I think studying abroad makes work and holiday a much more fulfilling experience.
You can listen to the world around you
Imagine walking down a busy street in your hometown. You pick up the sounds around you, hear pieces of conversations, and you get a feel for the place. Now imagine being able to do that in a foreign country. All you have to do is start learning the language, and the world around you will open up in ways not possible if you don't speak the language.
You can read about what is happening locally
Rather than relying on tourist guides you can check in with local newspapers and publications to have your finger on the pulse of the city or country. The more you can read the local language, the closer you'll get to comprehending the unique culture you find yourself in.
You are better equipped to understand and enjoy the culture
It's not just about understanding the words people say; it's also about delving into the cultural nuances expressed through verbal - and non-verbal - language. By learning to speak the language, you won't feel like such an outsider and will have a better, more intuitive understanding of why things are how they are in the culture.
You see things you would have otherwise missed
Spending time learning a language focuses you on both the language and the related culture. Aspects of the new culture that would have passed by unnoticed had you not spoken even the basics of the language will stand out. This enriches more than just your holiday or work trip; it also expands your perspectives in general.
You can meet the locals
If you really want to get to know a place, then speaking the local language makes it possible to really talk to the locals and get an up-close-and-personal glimpse into their customs.
Berlitz offers study abroad programs for professionals designed to give you a deeper understanding of the target language and culture. With one-on-one and group courses as well as Total Immersion®, you can rest assured that you will grow as a professional and gain valuable experience with your target language that will serve you well as you advance your career.
My name is Alessia and I am from Italy. I've been working in the finance sector since I started university, and over the years I have reached management level. My job requires me to speak two languages on a regular basis, something I found difficult in my first years in this institution.
I discovered, though, that the more effort I put into perfecting my second language, the better I got at a lot of things. Below are a few reasons why I think learning a second language can be advantageous to your career.
Improved communication skills
Without a doubt, speaking a second language will vastly enhance your communication skills. By practicing your speaking and writing skills in a second language, you'll also indirectly improve your general skills. I have found that I have become more comfortable speaking in front of people and dealing with day-to-day business.
Greater cultural understanding
Along with learning a language, you also learn about the cultures in which that language is spoken. This broadens your horizons and makes it easier for you to understand cultural differences. Personally, this has made me more adept at working with people from different countries and backgrounds.
As your skills in your new language grow, so will your confidence. That boost in confidence will flow into other parts of your life, increasing your motivation and your appeal at work.
Deeper awareness of your strengths and weaknesses
Learning a new language can be hard, but it is also rewarding. As you progress, you'll discover how you can best remember new ideas as well as where you may need more time to get things done. Knowing my strengths and weaknesses has helped me structure not only my learning but also my life in a way that is suitable to how I tick - I am sure you will have the same experience.
A second language makes you more attractive to employers
Speaking more than one language opens you up to professional possibilities because it expands the number of people you can communicate with, which is particularly important in today's global world. It's not just because you speak a second language; the whole array of soft skills you develop while learning a second language are beneficial across the board. Employers value having people on their team with the very skills you'll acquire as you work toward fluency in your second language.