Gabriel Hang Fong Chou, a Malaysian student at Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT), is loving the challenge of learning a new language at college so much that he is now recommending it to everyone! In his blog, he shares the many benefits of studying another language.

Been thinking of learning a new language while taking your undergraduate course? You might be interested in reading this blog. I can guarantee one thing – if you DO study a new language, you won’t regret it!

Learning a new language opens up your world

GMIT offers studies not only in the Irish language, but also in French, German and Spanish as an elective for certain courses. You can try out all the language classes for the first few weeks to see which language suits you better. Furthermore, you will be taught different skills, including listening, speaking, reading and writing, by enthusiastic lecturers who are native speakers. Other than foundational skills, you will also learn about the culture of the language you have chosen through movie watching or other interactive teaching methods.

A peek at my Spanish class!

Besides, you can choose to study for a year or a semester in another European Union country through a student exchange programme, Erasmus+. For instance, if you take German in GMIT, you might want to consider studying in Germany through the Erasmus+ programme to experience more about the language and the culture of Germany. You have the unique opportunity to do your work placement as part of your course in another country too!

Below are just some of the benefits of learning a new language!

It makes you more employable

The one huge obstacle that most new graduates will face is finding a job. Learning a new language can improve your employability as it has a significant advantage that makes you different from other people who only know one language. People who speak multiple languages will be considered a valuable asset to an employer as it brings more revenue for the company. This is because you will be able to communicate with customers or even manufacturers from a different country who don’t speak your native language.

Knowing the language makes you a better tourist

As a tourist, knowing the language of the country you are visiting is undoubtedly beneficial. Even if you are visiting the same tourist spots as others, you can attempt to interact or start a conversation with the local people to get more information about the country. You will have an authentic experience by experiencing the local culture or find a country’s hidden gems through conversation. Locals will be more than happy to listen to you speaking their language, even though it is not fluent. Having the chance to interact with other people in different countries is truly a blessing. You might be motivated to learn another new language when you are travelling around the globe.

The Glass Pyramid at the Louvre Museum, Paris

Boosts your confidence

Learning a language is very much a process of trial and error. And as a side effect, that process boosts your confidence. In discovering a language, you will be stepping out of your comfort zone and making a lot of mistakes (yes, a lot). But that’s totally fine! Once you get the hang of it, the sense of accomplishment when you can speak a whole new language, without any mistakes, is indescribable. You will be proud of yourself when you find yourself speaking another language fluently with other native speakers or maybe messing around with friends who don’t understand it.

Expand your horizons

It is impossible to list all the benefits of learning a new language. The Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein once said, “the limits of your language mean the limits of your world”. Learning a language is never a waste of time. It expands your horizon, broadens your life experiences and can even alter your perspective. Don’t miss the chance to learn a language. You will gain so much more that you ever expected. I will be waiting you here in GMIT, so drop me a message if you’ve any doubts or questions!