When applying for a job, being able to speak a second language will set you apart from others vying for the same position. Fluency in (or even a working knowledge of) another language will also greatly increase your employment opportunities – they’re not going to give the big promotion at the Hong Kong office to someone who only speaks English – so majoring in a foreign language is a great way to initially bump up your resume’s attractiveness and keep your name at the top of your employer’s short list.
As a foreign language major, you have possibly the widest range of careers to choose from including education, business, hospitality, politics and social work. Pairing a language major with the aforementioned or other majors or minors is extremely beneficial, as it will give you a better understanding of how to blend both fields of study together (imagine taking an advertising class...in Spanish!). You can also further your knowledge by immersing yourself in the culture by studying abroad and maybe even interning abroad as well to get the full experience of what life after college will be like.
To ease the often high cost of college, foreign language scholarship awards are available for students majoring in nearly every language. But not all foreign languages are created equal: Students fluent in Coptic, Ancient Greek, Latin and Sanskrit aren’t going to have employers and foreign language scholarship providers banging down their doors with offers because these languages are not used every day. (The exception to this rule is if you're planning a career in academia.) There isn’t one “best” language to major in but some are more useful than others in certain careers. For example, Mandarin Chinese, German and Japanese are good choices for those interested in international business, French is excellent for anyone planning on doing social work in Africa, Arabic is a sought-after skill for those wanting to work for the government and Spanish is useful in just about every profession in the United States.
As for funding your education, countless options are available. The U.S. Department of Education offers a Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship Program while the Critical Language Scholarship Program conducts intensive summer language institutes overseas in 13 critical need foreign languages but there are many, many more. Here are just a few foreign language scholarships in the Scholarships.com database. For more foreign language scholarship opportunities customized to your unique situation, conduct a free scholarship search today. ¿Comprende?
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