10 Reasons You Should Learn A Foreign Language

10 Reasons You Should Learn A Foreign Language

Warum nicht?

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I'm doing a lot of research for my study abroad trip, and something I have noticed is how few Americans speak a foreign language fluently compared to other countries. Sure, we all take a few years in high school as a requirement, but many of us aren't capable of fully speaking it. In my opinion, this lack of the ability to speak a foreign language is part of the reason for many of the disparities among American citizens and members of other cultures.

For example, Americans who think others should just "speak English" when they suddenly feel uncomfortable with the fact that they can't understand what the other is saying. If we learned a foreign language from an early age like many other countries, we would be able to fluently speak it rather than merely being able to greet someone in an unfamiliar language.

Another realization I had is how uncultured we as Americans really are. If you talk to people who are from other countries, many of them have traveled to numerous foreign countries. I think we are very sheltered in our setting. Many people go their entire lives without leaving the country and don't bat an eye. If we learned more about these other cultures, it would incline us to coexist with the rest of the world and want to experience the allure of being out of your comfort zone.

On top of these benefits to increasing the cultural awareness between us and other countries, learning a foreign language can have many other long-lasting benefits.

1. You'll have more career opportunities 

If you want to one day work abroad like me, many places will not hire you unless you're able to speak the native language. Companies also prefer someone who is bilingual to someone who speaks only one language.

2. You'll get to experience new places 

If you learn the language of a country before your visit, you'll be able to navigate much easier, and you won't look like a lost tourist.

3. You'll get a new perspective on your own culture 

As I stated in my opening, it'll enhance your appreciation for other cultures, but it will also help you to understand your own.

4. It'll improve your memory and boost brain power 

There's no doubt learning a new language helps your brain retain more information than monolingual counterparts.

5. It'll enhance your decision making 

Who doesn't need help in this realm?

6. Your cognitive skills will improve 

There's a strong correlation between reading comprehension and those who speak more than one language.

7. Your creativity will be boosted 

Speaking multiple languages helps with divergent thinking, which translates into creativity in all aspects of life.

8. You'll become better at multitasking 

Being able to switch back and forth between languages is a skill that when developed enhances the ability to multitask in day-to-day tasks.

9. Dementia and Alzheimer's are postponed 

Those who speak more than one language are more likely to experience these effects at a later stage in life.

10. You'll become a better student 

The brain operates more proficiently and multilingual people experience higher test scores.

There is so much that you can gain from learning a foreign language and it's never too late to start.

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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