October 9, 2017 at 8:50 pm

Advising Tip | Embark on the Foreign Language-Learning Odyssey

Tetyana Dovbnya

Tetyana Dovbnya

By Tetyana Dovbnya
International Student Advising Specialist / Academic Advisor

“If we spoke a different language, we would perceive a somewhat different world,” claimed the Austrian-British philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein. Additionally, he considered language to be a unique self-study tool. It is hard to disagree with his statements since language is indeed a key to exploration—of ourselves, as well as others. Learning new languages makes our world broader and richer. In a more trivial world, being a polyglot is a big asset in any profession or career.

As a student in the College of Arts & Sciences, you have a foreign language requirement to fulfill. Depending on whether you pursue a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Sciences degree, you need to complete either two or just one year of foreign language coursework, assuming you start at the elementary level. For some students, it can be a daunting requirement since they think they are “not good at languages.” Yet, they fail to remember that becoming good at languages requires nothing different from becoming good at biology, psychology, English, or any other subject – time, effort, and interest in the field, of course. Let us not forget about lots of memorization and practice!

Deciding which foreign language to study may not be easy, but try addressing the topic from these angles:

  • What parts of the world captivate your mind and call to your spirit? Listen to your inner traveler and explorer! Start your travel with learning the language of that region.
  • Where would you like to go study abroad, get an internship, or land a job? Learn about that country through its language.
  • Are you interested in discovering your family history, even if it takes you to another country? Maybe studying a heritage language would help you connect with your family on a deeper level.
  • Have you ever considered working for the U.S. government? There are numerous governmental jobs which require critical language skills.
  • Are you passionate about world literature? Then, why not read Baudelaire’s poetry in French, Faust in German, Anna Karenina in Russian, or haiku in Japanese? Reading literature in the original brings an unsurpassed joy.

Studying a foreign language at Ohio University brings with it multiple opportunities for cultural exploration outside of the classroom. You can immerse yourself in various world cultures through participation in conversation hours and engaging with native speakers from around campus. So, give a foreign language a chance and see the world anew!

Check out the available languages offered at Ohio University.

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