Throughout my time here in Madrid I have come to realize how important language is, and how crippling the lack thereof can be. I will preface the rest of this post with the fact that I realize Europe is made of many different countries with many different primary languages unlike the United States and the primary language of English. However, the amount of people here that are multilingual is quite frankly incredible, and eyeopening, leading me to admit often that I wish we had more secondary language in the States.
Being able to speak more than one language greatly opens up your chances for incredible experiences and success. For example, there are 11 people in my office here, and we have the capability to be able to communicate in 5 languages, making us able to expand our product more rapidly to new markets without physically being there. But we can communicate, and thats what matters. This type of advantage can directly translate to university students who want to live or work abroad in the future, or even domestically for a multinational firm. Point it, if you can learn and develop a command for a second or third language, you will be incredibly marketable to employers, and will be able to experience great job placements.
In addition to professional opportunities with expanded language capabilities, having an understanding of the language where you travel makes it undeniably more enjoyable. For example, I have been able to effectively communicate with my host family, coworkers, strangers, and friends. By doing so, I have felt that I have fit in, and have been able to immerse myself in the culture here. That means, that I also felt like I got more out of my time here, rather than just being a wandering, map dependent tourist.
To wrap things up, I know that the ability to be multilingual is more necessary here in Europe, and it is stressed in schools from a young age; but it produces results. I am very grateful that I have the ability that I do to speak Spanish because it has made this trip that much more rewarding. But I do hope that in the future more people will see the importance of language, and choose to pursue a second or a third, because the amount of doors that language can open is endless.