There are many benefits of studying in a multilingual country. These benefits are not just for those interested in languages, either. They extend to many areas of life and can transform the way one thinks and feels about the world.
We have written about how studying in English-speaking countries can improve your English language skills, but it just so happens that places like the USA, UK, and Australia also feature a diversity of culture within themselves, complete with a set of international languages. Through socializing and attending events, it is possible to be exposed to these languages and pick up some useful phrases!
In this article, we will discuss the main benefits that come with this. If you needed any more reason to take that leap and study abroad, perhaps this article can be that inspiration. One thing is for sure: nobody has regretted knowing more than a couple of languages, even if it is just at the basics level.
Now, then, let us move on to the first benefit.
Perhaps this is a little self-explanatory, but the first and foremost of the benefits of studying in a multilingual country is that you get exposed to a variety of different languages. All other benefits on this list flow from this first one. Not only do you get exposed to the languages, but you also get to learn them in their most natural, conversational form.
It is no secret that language learning works a lot easier when one immerses themselves in the language and acquires it naturally versus spending hours memorizing words and grammar rules from a textbook.
By being exposed to a variety of different languages, you also get access to different cultures. Culture and language are inseparable to an extent, and you might start to understand certain cultures better only after you get a sense of how their language sounds and feels.
One of the main purposes of contemporary university education is to develop critical thinking skills and broaden one’s horizons. By learning a bit of the many languages you will be exposed to in a multilingual country, you will have an opportunity to challenge the assumptions you might have inherited from your culture and understand others more deeply.
If cosmopolitanism is a value you aspire to, then learning multiple languages is a great way to advance towards being a truly global citizen. One of the many benefits of studying in a multilingual country and learning languages is that you can communicate with a wider variety of people.
No matter where you find yourself, if you can speak the local language at least a little bit, you will immediately be liked more and welcomed, allowing you to establish closer bonds and rid your world of borders.
Executive functioning skills include cognitive capabilities such as reasoning, planning, and problem-solving. If you ever have issues making decisions or getting yourself to do something you either should or even think you would really enjoy, you can be said to have executive dysfunction.
Good executive functioning is linked to higher academic success and an overall lesser degree of stress in life. Part of the reason knowing and using multiple languages can improve it has been hypothesized to be due to the mental capacity needed for code-switching during conversation.
It is no secret that even a bit of multilingualism goes a long way in increasing your employability. One of the most practical benefits of studying in a multilingual country is that the languages you pick up can make it easier for you to find a job after graduating.
The improve the chances of this, it is recommended that, as a supplement to the language you will pick up listening to your peers, you also learn the most important terminology in the field you have decided to specialize in. This will especially be relevant if the job requires you to work with international partners.
We have mentioned how learning other languages can make you more tolerant and understanding of other cultures, but did you know that it can also alter your very personality?
This article from the BBC talks about the complex ways in which multilingualism alters the way our minds work. Those who speak multiple languages tend to approach situations from a more nuanced and multi-perspectival approach. This likely has partially to do with the different ways in which different languages seem to think about and describe the same situations.
Memory plays a huge role in language learning. Multilingual people often score higher on memory tests than those who speak only one language. Having a good memory can have both cognitive and social benefits, such as easier facial recognition or remembering names.
I do not think we need to explain why this is one of the best benefits of studying in a multilingual country. Having a better memory can help you out in a swathe of different situations. Not only that, but knowing multiple languages can end up delaying the onset of diseases like Alzheimer’s.
One of the main advantages of being multilingual is the ability to continuously monitor the environment. You might have to switch languages quite often. This entails monitoring changes around you in the same way we monitor our surroundings while driving, for example.
This can apply to every aspect of life, whether we are walking the streets or playing sports. The ability to keep track of everything that is going on around you is a very useful skill! We can see how much knowing multiple languages impacts all aspects of our mental well-being in a positive manner.
you probably would like to study in one, right? As we have mentioned already, a lot of English-speaking countries feature a multicultural population which all bring their languages into the mix and allow you varying amounts of exposure to them.
We have guides on our website for studying in many English-speaking countries. If you think you might be in need of a student visa, then check out these articles: