Complete linguistic immersion on your year abroad can turn a language barrier into one of your biggest advantages. Being fluent in a foreign language has innumerable benefits in both your personal and professional life. If you discover you have an aptitude for and enjoy language learning, it’s worth considering an entrepreneurial career that takes advantage of your language skills, such as starting up a language school, a tourism agency or a translating and interpreting business. Here is an interview with Claire Lucia Grant, Founder of Claire L Grant Language Services.
So you're sitting there on a March/April afternoon during your University Easter break and are wondering how you should spend your mega-long university summer holiday and all of a sudden, it comes to you! Why not try au-pairing? As a languages student, surely it's one of the best ways to spend your summer? This was my exact thought process when I was in my first year at the University of Leicester and wanted to fill my 12 (yes 12!) weeks of summer doing something that would prepare me for the trials and tribulations of second year!
We are supporting Speak to the Future, the UK's campaign for languages, and their latest project aims to change the future of language learning in the UK! Get involved by copying and pasting the letter below in an email to your MP to ensure future students have a well-rounded 'global' education. Here's more information about it...
Emma is a French and Hispanic Studies student at the University of Sheffield, and is spending the first half of her year abroad working in Lyon, and the second half studying in Valencia. Here is her advice for students who started learning a language at university (ab initio) and are using that language to study abroad.
The dream of a Year Abroad is to improve your language skills, but is there a darker side to immersing yourself in the language in a foreign country?
Nirankar Phull is studying English and Spanish at the University of Leeds and is spending his year abroad working as a Language Assistant at a secondary school in Soria, Castilla y Leon, in Spain, where he's battling against the onset of Spanglish...
Steve studied German and Spanish at Royal Holloway, and spent his year abroad studying at Hochschule Esslingen University neat Stuttgart in Germany and working for an online travel company in Madrid, Spain. He is now Double Club Languages Coordinator at Arsenal Football Club, an innovative education and football programme which teaches a range of languages combined with football coaching.
Has someone famous inspired you to learn a language? Who is your Celebrity Language Idol? (Wow - imagine that as a show!) Do you think someone well-known deserves to win an award for their Services to Languages? Then you need to nominate them for the Guardian Public Language Champion Award!
Elliott Waring is studying Spanish and PR at Leeds Met and is on his year abroad in Barcelona. You can follow his blog about his experiences, but in the meantime here is an excerpt about his volunteering experience at the X Games and how being bilingual is giving him more opportunities.
Duolingo is a free language-learning website and crowdsourced text translation platform which purports to offer "Free language education for the world", and which is very popular with year abroad students. Ellie Cobbe spent her year abroad in Paris and Valencia, and went to Madrid as a Language Assistant after graduation. She blogged about the new Duolingo wesite on her blog, and here's her review for TYA...
As a business which works with year abroad students, we are constantly hearing stories about how important the year abroad and foreign language skills are for your graduate career prospects. It's when employers start talking about "the lack of linguistic graduates in the UK" that it gets really interesting. You are a linguistic graduate! You are a valuable commodity! You need to understand that with a grasp of a foreign language or an inside knowledge of another culture, you are in a position to approach employers speculatively and offer your services to help them develop new business in those geographical areas.