Everybody’s main goal when going to college is to graduate with their degree but college offers opportunities you may not get after graduation, like study abroad. Studying abroad can seem like it will interfere with your academic trajectory, but it can actually advance your academic experience while being able to have a great experience in another country. Study abroad is a great academic aid that lets you study while getting real-life experience in your language or culture, while also helping you promote yourself by increasing self-responsibility and by expanding your career and research options.
Brochures for study abroad that pertain to my environmental science and Japanese majors that would help advance my academic experiences
My experience with studying Japanese language and culture has mostly been through a book and lectures. I’ve become very good at textbook conversations and vocabulary. Although I am experienced in these areas, the daily conversation between friends and acquaintances in Japan is not always the same. The dialogue or even tones can be different depending on who you’re talking to or where you are in Japan. Going abroad lets you get more real-life experience through conversations with those actually living in the country of your language or culture you’re studying. Not only do you get to practice your language and engulf yourself in that country’s culture, but by being in a foreign country, you are able to meet new people and see other perspectives that aren’t necessarily common in where you may be attending college.
Studying abroad also forces you to become more responsible for yourself. In college you may be distanced from your parents, which enables you to be more self-responsible, but you are still helped by other students and professors you may be close with. When you go abroad, you’re not going to have the same assistance that you’re used to. Even though it may seem like you’ve already become independent at college, abroad you’ll be responsible for tasks you haven’t been faced with. This will enable you to become more aware of your academic responsibilities, as well as advance your ability to succeed, at your home college and be able to figure out academic tasks without the aids you may have used in the past. It also gives you an opportunity to learn how to balance work and fun. Since you’re not only abroad to study, but to explore and learn about the culture and country itself, it is up to you to learn how to take advantage of both the academics and the experience.
At Emory, I have been exposed to new fields of studies and careers I did not even know existed before. Since Emory alone has an extensive amount of areas of studies that help expand your knowledge and guide you to find the area you want to have a career in, other countries must have many more. Even the U.S.A, as a whole, has a large range of jobs and research fields but if you look outside of the lens of your own country, the range gets even bigger. Going abroad lets you get a different perspective of the many job and research opportunities outside of the readily accessible ones already at your university. Going abroad also lets you look at careers where you are able to apply the knowledge gained from your language or culture studies.
Me at the Emory Study Abroad fair in September learning about the different offered experiences
A liberal arts educational is a beneficial program to incorporate and learn new skills and information that may be outside your normal realm of education. The study of foreign languages and cultures is essential in a liberal arts education because it expands your knowledge outside of your major and the typical subjects studied, gives you a skill that is applicable in countries outside of your own, and promotes your ability to build relationships at an international level.
Studying foreign language lets you implement and learn about subjects outside of your major. This is important because many practices pull from outside disciplines. It is important to study language because it is foundation of culture is built on. These days in such a competitive market, employees knowledgeable of many cultures are highly valued. It is practical to learn about customs and languages outside of your own because in a typical work space you work with other people in various disciplines and parts of the world, which means that we need to be able to understand and collaborate with diverse groups in order to work effectively.
As the world develops, international communication becomes more accessible due to the advancement in technology. It is common for a job to call for a partnership with other fields outside of your current country. To advance a specific field, it is vital to collaborate and work with others within and outside of the field, which includes other countries. In order to work well with others, we must learn about their language and culture. Even if you are not interacting with those native to the particular country of your studies, you still have acquired skills that help you better understand ideas and customs that may be foreign to you. Understanding foreign cultures and customs aids in the development of creating relationships. It is important to be informed on cultures throughout the world and about how there is not one set way of living and that there are advantages to the way each culture functions. You could learn from these cultures and introduce these values that are found in foreign cultures within your own life and business to advance and better yourself and others.
It also helps advance your own communication skills by learning about new ways that another culture communicates to others casually to build global relationships. Studying a foreign language is a key in the modern world because it shows a high degree of education and worldliness. In recent times more and more political leaders are bilingual or multi-lingual. This is because learning a foreign language shows the student’s respect towards the language and culture they are studying. Language and culture are interwoven very tightly, so that the first steps in understanding a foreign culture is to learn their language and view on life with their lens and words. Language itself is often politicized, just as displayed in the recent xenophobic fear of rising Spanish speakers in America, the forced removal of Tibetan language, and subsequent ‘re-education’ of Chinese in present day Sichuan, China. The flame of nationalism is often fanned by pride behind a single language and therefore an identity. Trying to emphasize and put enough context into language can be difficult. But language itself is so powerful, since it is the single thing that makes us different than any other organism on earth.
Exploring Japanese restaurants with my family
My name is Sophie Juback. I am a sophomore who transferred to Emory this year and I am majoring in Environmental Science and Japanese. I was born in Michigan but have lived in Georgia for the majority of my life. I believe it is very important to understand and learn about cultures from all over the world. I am currently studying Japanese, which I love and am very passionate about, but have studied Latin and a little of Spanish in the past. My dream is to consult international businesses on how they can implement new methods into their practices to be more sustainable and reduce their environmental footprint. I am very excited to take part in the Global Languages and Cultures Cohort and participate this blog.