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Careers that Enable You to Learn New Languages

by Andrej Kovacevic

There are many career paths that will help you to speak and understand other languages.

When deciding on a career, making a living is just part of the attraction. Naturally, you want a job that's going to be interesting and a good fit for your skills and aptitudes. For some people, building a career that involves travel and learning new languages would also be a dream come true.

Working in the hospitality or diplomacy sector is one way to achieve that goal. A position at a hotel, resort or diplomatic outpost that caters to people from all over the world will give you the opportunity to practice your language skills daily.

Another route to language fluency is gaining proficiency in business or internet technology since those skills are needed around the world. And an excellent way to polish your language skills is to spend a year in another country among native language speakers. You can also take a shortcut to linguistic and cultural fluency by volunteering for the Peace Corps.

Hospitality and Tourism

The hospitality field involves much more than just managing hotels and resorts, and this is a career path that lends itself to world travel and language fluency. One of the largest industries worldwide is hospitality and tourism. Skilled professionals are needed in high-visibility and behind the scenes jobs in areas such as lodging, transportation, food service, entertainment and travel.

As a hospitality professional, you might find a job planning meetings and conferences for people from different countries around the world. Working in the tourism field, language fluency will help you provide the best service to a variety of customers. Hotels, resorts and cruise ships always need staff that can interact with guests who speak all the major languages.

Diplomacy and International Relations

This work focuses on interactions between members of the global community, and it has an emphasis on bringing people together. For this type of job, you'll need the patience to actively listen to others and learn about complex issues. If you also have the critical thinking skills to find solutions to communication roadblocks, diplomacy could be an excellent career for you.

Learning to speak several languages is an invaluable accomplishment in this field, and jobs are available in the public and private sectors. Careers in immigration, international marketing, foreign affairs, and journalism are just some of the possibilities.

Business Systems

Serving in an administrative position in a company requires some of the same skills needed to apply yourself and become multilingual. Commerce jobs involve keeping a cool head while doing business with a wide variety of people. Working in a business environment that requires language fluency is a logical step up from that.

Even a general knowledge of business systems can be a springboard to a job that challenges you to practice language skills on a daily basis. You can also improve your skill set by taking administration courses online while working. The broader your knowledge of business systems, the more valuable you'll be to a multinational organization.

Internet Technology

Along with commerce, marketing and finance, internet technology is a natural fit if you're interested in working abroad and learning other languages. After all, HTML is a universal language when it comes to coding and website design. And it's hard to find any business today that doesn't rely on the skills of an IT team to run smoothly.

One recommendation is to focus on a field such as data analysis, cyber security or database administration since jobs are available all over the globe in those specialties. For an international IT career, it's also advisable to have a broad knowledge of programming languages and common tech issues.

Peace Corps

Many of the same skills that you'd bring to a job in diplomacy or hospitality will be useful as a volunteer in the Peace Corps. One of the best ways to become fluent in a language is to spend time around people who only speak that tongue. The Peace Corps is a cultural immersion program that sends volunteers to live and work in other countries and help the people there in concrete ways.

Other goals are to promote understanding and empathy toward other cultures while giving them a positive experience with people from the United States. You'll benefit from connecting with other cultures and strengthening your language skills. Service in the Peace Corps can even give you a credential for teaching English as a Foreign Language.

Incorporating Language Ability into Your Career

Having a chance to practice your foreign language skills on a daily basis is an excellent way to retain fluency. Careers in these fields and others not only give you that opportunity, but they also help bridge the gap between people of different cultures. Language is a wonderful way to connect with other people and broaden your experience. If you can use your ability to speak one or more foreign languages on the job each day, it will enrich your life and the lives of those around you.

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