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1. Why study...MODERN LANGUAGES?

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Eleanor Jones

on 14 February 2017

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Transcript of 1. Why study...MODERN LANGUAGES?

I studied Spanish & Portuguese at the University of Manchester

I liked it so much I stayed on and did a Master's degree in Languages & Cultures

I'm now doing a PhD in Portuguese Studies

Here is a picture of me at Machu Picchu, Peru, during my year abroad!

Then I did a Master's in Comparative Literature at University College London.

This is me celebrating Spain's Euro 2008 victory during my year abroad.
I studied English and Spanish at Trinity College, Dublin.
Then I spent 3 years teaching English in Spain, South Korea and China before coming back to the UK to start my PhD in Spanish Studies.
Q. How many people, out of the world's population of 7 billion, speak English as a first language?
a. 2.5 billion
b. 950 million
c. 375 million
The answer is...
c. 375 million people across the world speak English as a first language.

That's just 1 in 20 people!

So what about the other 19?...
We want to be able to reach those other people, and so the demand for languages is getting higher and higher...

If you want to be able to sell somebody something, you need to speak their language!
"If I'm selling to you, I speak your language. But if I'm buying, dann müssen Sie Deutsch sprechen."

Willy Brandt, former German chancellor
It's clear that knowing a second language is a major asset.
But what is studying a language actually like?
Let's go back to Manchester to find out...
My timetable
9.oo am: Spanish Language class with Susana (debate on global warming)
11.00 am: Coffee & tandem chat with José :)
1.00 pm: Lunch with Sarah - time to go through presentation!
2.00 pm: Lecture: Culture & Revolution in 20th Century Latin America
4.00 pm: Plan essay on film in Mozambique
6.00 pm: Time for a drink! Meet José @ the SU bar (squeeze in a bit more Spanish practice??)
7.oo pm: New Argentine horror film @ the Cornerhouse!

...but what about when the term's over?
Studying another language opens up the opportunity to work abroad during the holidays, earning money, improving your language skills and having a great time!

The possibilities are endless.

You could find yourself...
...teach English in Berlin...
...or give tours in a museum in Paris!
And speaking of going abroad...
One year of your languages degree will be spent living and either working or studying abroad.
You choose where you go and what you do.
Need some ideas? Here's what we did on our years abroad!
I spent my year abroad in Santiago, Chile.

It was a bit daunting at first, especially finding a flat and getting used to the accent, but I had the most fantastic time.

By the time the year was over, not only was my Spanish great, I also felt like I could handle anything!

At the end of term, I travelled all over South America....
...including to Bolivia...
...and Colombia!
I loved teaching so much I decided to spend my summer in Xalapa, Mexico as a volunteer working with more cute kids!
You still receive your student loan while you're abroad, and usually pay reduced tuition fees.
If you stay within Europe or territories belonging to European countries, you could receive an Erasmus grant to help you with expenses.
Erasmus is a European organisation that encourages time spent studying or working abroad, and will help you with the process
Yay! Erasmus grant!
What about skills?
...and careers?
...but really, languages can take you anywhere. Look where language degrees got these famous faces...
Superstar author and creator of Harry Potter, J. K. Rowling has a degree in French
Magician Derren Browne studied German at uni
Paula Radcliffe has a degree in French & German
Here's what languages graduates have to say about their degrees and their careers...
"Without a doubt, language ability is essential in modern sport... My linguistic learning ability and education, coupled with my specific football expertise, have given me a higher level of career path... Everyone has an opinion about football but few can express it in different languages."
- David McDonough, coach at FC Inter Milan. BA Spanish Studies at the University of Manchester
"As a BBC foreign affairs journalist, I owe my professional life to my languages. If I didn't speak German, for example, I wouldn't have reported for the BBC on the fall of the Berlin Wall, or met my husband..."
- Rosie Goldsmith, presenter and journalist, BA French & German
"I was often asked [in job interviews] about the skills that I learned while studying for my degree and I always found this easy to answer as the list is so long (attention to detail, communication, research, time management, logic, to name but a few! ...with languages, so many career paths are possible that you'll be spoilt for choice!
- Hannah Jaycock, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, BA French & Italian at the University of Manchester
To study languages at Manchester University, you'll usually need to have an A-level in at least one of the languages you want to study.
The required grades vary depending on which course you hope to study, from BBC to AAA. You can find more detailed info about grade requirements on our website.
Funding your degree needn't be scary
You will be able to access a loan and/or grant that will cover your tuition fees and living expenses. You don't pay the grant back.
You won't begin paying the loan back until you're earning over £21,000 a year, and the repayments come out of your wages, like a tax
...doing what I did! I worked in the Roman Oasis Bar and restaurant in Estepona during my summer holidays.
Or maybe you'd prefer to...
I studied Spanish at the University of Salamanca as part of the Erasmus Programme. I also got to teach English to adorable Spanish kids in the evenings!
Any questions...?
Full transcript