Through studying a language you acquire a whole range of skills that can be applied to a great variety of professions. In particular, you will have very good communication skills, which are highly valued by employers. Language graduates can choose from a variety of careers and professions, for example:
- teaching (second level, but also third level or professional language training)
- public service (because you have shown language learning potential you may be recruited to learn another language)
- the media
- international business (marketing, finance, personnel)
- localising and interpreting
Perhaps the most obvious reason for studying languages is that if you’re interested in the world beyond your own country, languages offer an exciting window on how other cultures think, behave and live their lives!
But there are lots of other reasons! One is that there is a serious shortage of speakers of foreign languages in Ireland. As the Irish Times put it in 2015:
A 2012 Eurobarometer survey found 40 per cent of Irish people were able to hold a conversation in at least one foreign language, compared to an EU average of 54 per cent. Only the UK, Portugal, Italy and Hungary scored less.
And this is very important, because language learning helps you develop key skills for later life. The same Irish Times article quotes the Department of Education and Skills as saying:
“People who are bilingual or plurilingual tend to be more flexible, more creative and more fluent in their mother tongue. They communicate more clearly and accurately to diverse audiences and are much sought after by employers.”
“Arts graduates who have a foreign language are … in high demand: someone with a degree in, for example, German or Spanish with philosophy, will be snapped up for work”.
Why study French?
“French can be studied in the University of Limerick at advanced level. You will learn about French society, literature and culture and improve all your language skills. You will use a wide range of materials to aid your study, including textbooks, newspapers, film, radio, TV and internet
You will also have the opportunity to study and/or work in France, Belgium, Luxemburg, Canada etc. thanks to our vast network of partners throughout the world during your degree.
By studying French at the University of Limerick, you acquire a whole range of skills that can be applied to a great variety of professions. In particular, you will have very good communication skills, which are highly valued by employers. Learning French gives you another way of looking at, analysing and interpreting the world, so you are automatically more attractive to potential employers. As a result, graduates with French can choose from a variety of careers and professions in areas such as teaching, tourism, international business, media and information industry as well as translating, localising and interpreting, etc.
So if you liked French at school, you’ll love it in UL! So don’t think twice and have a look at all our programmes featuring French. We hope to see you soon.”
Why study German?
“Warum Deutsch? Should you do German? Probably yes! Why? There are many good reasons – first of all you’ll discover a different culture, you will be able to find your way around and get to know beautiful countries such as Austria, Germany and Switzerland (at least to a large part) much better. You can study or work in exciting and fascinating places such as Berlin, Cologne, Munich or Vienna – or many of the wonderful smaller places.
Germany is one of the biggest trading partners of Ireland, an important target for the Irish tourism industry and it really enhances your employment prospects. German is the first language spoken by most people in Europe! Also, it can be great fun. In UL we regularly have authors from German-speaking countries giving readings or great guest lecturers and we are very enthusiastic about teaching our students. As with all languages, regular engagement – and persistence – is the key (yes, attending classes and doing your homework makes sense, especially when you do a language) – and it is really worth it! So should you do German? Natürlich!”
Dr Gisela Holfter
Why study Spanish?
“There are many more reasons than we can go into here! But to mention just a few:
- There are about 400 million native speakers of Spanish, and Spanish is now among the four most widely used languages in the world. Spanish is the official language of 21 countries.
- Spanish is one of the official languages of the United Nations, the European Union and many other international bodies and it plays a vital role in international business, media, etc.
- Spanish is the first language of most countries in Latin America and its already major profile in the USA is increasing every year.
- Spanish is the key to the fascinating cultural heritages of Latin America and Spain.
As well as all this, if you study Spanish at UL you’ll have the opportunity not just to learn about Spain and Latin America but to do a work placement or study abroad there.
¿Por qué no? Most students who choose Spanish never look back, and many of them go on to use the language in their future careers!”
Dr David Atkinson