7 Reasons Why Learning a Second Language Will Get You Ahead


1. Knowing a second language lets you communicate, travel, and experience other cultures.

A State of Languages: A Statistical Portrait”, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2016

2. Knowing a second language gives you a competitive edge in the job market.

Why Learning a Language Could Save Your Career”, Forbes, 2014

A State of Languages: A Statistical Portrait”, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2016

3. Learning a second language staves off mental aging.

Does Bilingualism Influence Cognitive Aging?”, Annals of Neurology, 2014

4. Even a short period of language learning boosts your mental agility.

Novelty, Challenge and Practice: The Impact of Intensive Language Learning on Attentional Functions”, PLOS, 2016

5. Learning a classical language enhances your grasp of other languages and your analytical skills.

Why You Should Learn a Dead Language”, The Guardian, 2013

6. Learning a second language boosts your self-confidence.

Seven Hundred Reasons For Studying Languages”, The Higher Education Academy, 2004

7. Learning a second language increases your overall academic achievement.

Language Study as National Imperative”, Inside Higher Ed, 2017

How Does Language Learning Support Academic Achievement?“, American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages


Read what OSU students say about learning a second language:

“Studying a foreign language has opened many doors in my life, including the ones that say ‘push’ or ‘pull’ in Arabic. Foreign language study has helped me find common ground with people who, at first glance, could not be more different from me. The friendships I have made sometimes just from asking a simple question will no doubt last a lifetime. When you study a language, you’re learning more than just words and grammar; you are learning a culture, a people, and a new understanding of the world.” - Alex Pratt studied Arabic for a year in the United Arabic Emirates.

“Learning a new language can help you communicate with people who live a world completely different than yours and that only expands your horizons more. This time is crucial, we have such a diverse country and the more people you can communicate with the more you understand people’s situations that can also impact the way you think. It’s kind of like extra cool points knowing another language, because you’re communicating in a different language that not everyone knows how to speak… it makes you stand out. That’s pretty cool to me!”-   Elybeth Aquino studied abroad at University of South Australia and speaks English and Spanish

“Your world is limited to what you can say. Learning another language opens you up to so many more great relationships with other people. It gives you the chance to interact with many new people on a deep and personal level in their own native language! Learning another language opens up many new job opportunities and helps you become more competitive in the eyes of potential employers. When employers see that you can speak another language, it shows them that you are very intelligent and diligent. It also opens up the opportunity for you to use your language experience in the workplace. Learning another language simply makes you smarter. Once you have learned another language, your brain works in a different way. It allows you to memorize things and solve problems more easily.”- Michael Maclaren studied in China for over a year at two different universities

“After I enrolled in classes in Tartu, I discovered that my Russian class was taught by a native Russian speaker who was born and raised in Estonia. He had an understanding of the culture that would have been difficult to gain from a non-local, non-native speaker. Learning Russian abroad not only developed my language abilities, but also increased my capacity for understanding the culture. Studying a language abroad gave me rich foundations in understanding the language, and an advantage when returning to language studies in the States.”- Chelsey Johnson studied Russian at the University of Tartu in Spring 2015