Importance of Local Language for Admissions in Europe
Unlike the US where English is spoken by the majority of people, Europe is home to people from a number of different cultures, each with their own unique language. So to succeed and make the most of your education, it will be necessary to learn the local language. While the classes themselves will be taught in English, if you known the local language you will be able to interact better with your professors and local; thereby opening up new avenues and opportunities in your line of study i.e. give yourself a huge competitive edge when compared to your classmates. Additionally most universities in Europe (where English is not the primary language used), require knowledge for admissions, make it a necessary requirement, will reject your application for admission if you do not know the local language.
Language - The Starting Point to Education
To truly understand a culture, its people, good knowledge of the local language is a must. By learning the local language you will immerse yourself into the local culture, get to know the local people much better. Additionally knowledge of the language spoken by your faculty will allow you to better connect with them, thereby increasing the amount you learn from them, simultaneously improving your relationship with them (better future recommendations from faculty). The advantages of knowing foreign languages are limitless.
Advantages of Knowing the Local Language
- Admissions: If you and another candidate have the same profile as far as academics and extracurricular activities are concerned, if the other candidate has knowledge of the local language and you don't, preference will usually be given to the other candidate.
- Research Institutes: Local language proficiency is an asset in research oriented institutes, since in most such institutes only the local language will be used by its members.
- Work opportunities and a successful career in any local company will require knowledge of the local language. At times, a candidate is selected for work, only because of his or her proficiency in the local language.
Which Language to Learn?
While there are many official European languages, you will only have to learn the one used in the local area. Since Germany, France, and the Netherlands are the usual places of study, you will have to learn either French, German, or Danish.
How to Master the Local Language With Ease?
- Accredited Courses: Start by searching for an institute which provides an accredited language course for the required language i.e. a course which will at the end, provide you with a certificate to prove to the universities that you know your subject. The major advantage of such a course is that you will have proficient teachers, will be able to interact with other students, who like you are trying to learn the local language.
- Books: Other than courses, purchase good books which are written in the local language, this will increase your familiarization with the local language, increase your exposure to it.
- Online: Search different forums for pen pals from the country of interest, whom you can talk with regularly. By regularly using the language, you will increase your understanding of the language.
- TV Shows and Movies: One of the best methods is to download movies and TV shows from the local area. Just by watching those movies, you will increase your proficiency of the local language.
- Audio CD's: Many learn on the go language CD's are available in the market. Purchase one and use it while you travel to aid in the learning process.
Picking up language skills comes through constant practice and familiarization. So work hard and keep trying.