Why Learn a Foreign Language?

“Just learning to think in another language allows you to see your own culture in a better viewpoint.” – Gates Mcfadden

A study led by Tamar Gollan of University of California found that bilingual elders over the age of 44 were more resistant than others to the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s: The more proficient the bilingualism, the later the age of onset

Learning a language increases your chances of getting hired, earns you more money, opens up different job opportunities, bridges cultural gaps, and allows you to travel.

The top five languages to learn for business are:

  • Arabic: A combined GDP of 600 billion in Arabic countries
  • Chinese: 2nd largest economy & over 1 billion native speakers
  • French: 2nd most common language online
  • German: Official language in 6 European countries
  • Spanish: Official language in 20 countries worldwide

The Importance of Language-Learning

Have you ever found yourself thinking that the language requirement at liberal arts colleges (like Mount Holyoke) is a waste of time? Watch this presentation to find out why we think you should learn a foreign language!


Mount Holyoke alumnae discuss how the study of language helped them in their careers.

Zilin Cui '11

Language skills propelled my career abroad

Zilin Cui '11: I learned how to engage with Spanish speakers on a cultural, intellectual and professional level, and became a true world citizen.
Merita Salihu '15

The Study of Languages and Cultures

Merita Salihu '15: The cultural component of my studies allowed me to understand people beyond just having the language skills to communicate with them.
R. Aleida Montejo '2003, Co-founder of Thread Collaborative

The Language in Food

R. Aleida Montejo ’03: my fluency in Spanish, French and Italian allows me to support my business in sometimes unexpected ways.