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Where has your modern foreign languages degree taken you?

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    (Original post by alexs2602)
    Fail, if you're going to try to insult me at least hit me where it might hurt. I've nothing against languages, I love them in fact but you trying to insult the usefulness of maths is laughable. There are so many applications of maths I'm spoilt for choice. Maths is in the building blocks of the world/universe. It's everywhere. Also I never said languages were pointless, but if you had bothered to read you'd know that.

    Isn't that what OP wanted? I can't remember. I thought they wanted to learn at least the language side. You can take a year abroad in a lot of courses/unis, not just language degrees; point? And to add to that I don't do a language course, as you know, it was just an idea. So stop acting like I should know better.
    He's not saying maths is useless, he's just using your argument on you. Your argument was sure, languages are useful, but why study them as a degree - which is a fair comment from someone who obviously knows very little about the difference between a degree in Modern Languages and 'speaking French'. (Which is fair enough, why would you?)

    Surely a languages student could use the same argument on you and tell you to just do maths as a hobby? I mean...why study maths as a degree when you can do it in your spare time, right? Because let's face it, you don't need a degree in mathematics to have a grasp on numbers, just like you don't need a degree in languages to have a grasp on languages...no?
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    (Original post by jonnythemoose)
    He's not saying maths is useless, he's just using your argument on you. Your argument was sure, languages are useful, but why study them as a degree - which is a fair comment from someone who obviously knows very little about the difference between a degree in Modern Languages and 'speaking French'. (Which is fair enough, why would you?)

    Surely a languages student could use the same argument on you and tell you to just do maths as a hobby? I mean...why study maths as a degree when you can do it in your spare time, right? Because let's face it, you don't need a degree in mathematics to have a grasp on numbers, just like you don't need a degree in languages to have a grasp on languages...no?
    It was a pretty bad argument. I seem to recall that the OP was asking about what MFL could lead to careerwise. Hence why I posted what I did - a win win situation. They could get a 'useful' degree and carry on their study of languages. There was no mention of anything but learning languages. Nothing to do with culture. In the scenario I suggested they would be able to get into a field/career/job with perhaps a wider application/higher demand straight after degree but learn languages at the same time.
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    As a recent graduate with a degree in single honours French, I would say you should be very careful about deciding to study just languages. As a joint degree or major/minor, I'd say it's a great idea - the year abroad is excellent for graduate applications, you can travel, see the world, and you're pretty well-off for the year too.

    However, so many people who study languages at uni do so because they want to live or work abroad, and a degree in the language of that country often qualifies you for nothing - not even teaching English. This is particularly the case in continental Europe (esp. France, Spain etc.), where unemployment is traditionally higher than the UK, young people study very specific degrees normally to at least 5 years post-school and only those from the most prestigious universities with great internship experience will find good permanent jobs.

    I say this after having moved to Paris through a very lucky break and have been working in Intercultural Management for a big multinational group, so I'm involved in managing the differences in employment and management internationally and have to deal with the challenges of the differences between Europe 'proper' and the UK daily. Of my colleagues of similar status (France is very heirarchical) I am the least qualified, and therefore paid slightly less. When asked what I studied at uni and I reply with 'French', the reply I tend to get is 'Ah great! And...?'.

    In order to progress in my career in France, I have to have a master's, and it must be in a very specific field, and, unfortunately, it must be from a world-class university. Which is going to cost 20,000 pounds for the fees alone, and will still not really compare to those who went through the elite 'grandes écoles' system in France.

    My advice to anyone considering doing a language degree would be to go for it because it's a great experience and languages can set you apart - but also to really consider what you want to do afterwards, and study that - or something more vocational at least - as well. It's great having doors open but studying only a language moves them slightly further away (unless you want to be a translator, interpretor, teacher, etc. of course). Classmates of mine are struggling.
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    i am a 3rd year french + italian student
    so ive just finished 6 monts in france and am 1 month into my italian placement
    i was like you at school in that i did sciences but also really like languages. in fact i actually applied to medicine and didnt get in. but i can honestly say, looking back im glad i didnt get in as i love my course.
    the thing about languages is that people associate with teaching and interpreting and thats it, but you can do so much more. my mother is actually an interpreter and i can safely say i would never want to do that. shes freelance, so the money isnt steady, and she never knows when the next jobs gonna happen.
    if you decide to languages go an work on your year abroad instead of to a university so you can get work experience and have an idea of what you want to do after...
    i had no idea of what i wanted to do. now half way through my year abroad i know i want to work in aviation and i know it's entirely possible with languages.
    businesses like languages because they associate it with people and communication skills

    i hope that helps
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    Any more? These posts are great for helping future language learners. Keep the posts coming.
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    (Original post by Hylean)
    I am currently doing a second BA in Iceland, one of the better regions for my preferred subject, and will be starting an MA in January, partially. I study in Icelandic, write most of my coursework and take most of my exams in Icelandic. It has helped me get freelance work as a translator and work my way slowly into Icelandic society, where most Icelanders treat me differently because of my ability to speak their language.
    Sorry, I know this is old. But how can you financially afford a second degree? Are they free (even second degrees) in the Nordic countries?
    Also what does the bolded bit mean? I thought Iceland was a friendly country?
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    (Original post by Juichiro)
    Sorry, I know this is old. But how can you financially afford a second degree? Are they free (even second degrees) in the Nordic countries?
    Also what does the bolded bit mean? I thought Iceland was a friendly country?
    Many universities in Europe are free, the University of Iceland being one of them, although there is a £300 registration fee per year, but it's clearly more affordable than staying in the UK. As for different, it doesn't necessarily convey a negative meaning, maybe they're actually more sympathetic towards him, etc.
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    (Original post by adfdub)
    As a recent graduate with a degree in single honours French, I would say you should be very careful about deciding to study just languages. As a joint degree or major/minor, I'd say it's a great idea - the year abroad is excellent for graduate applications, you can travel, see the world, and you're pretty well-off for the year too.

    However, so many people who study languages at uni do so because they want to live or work abroad, and a degree in the language of that country often qualifies you for nothing - not even teaching English. This is particularly the case in continental Europe (esp. France, Spain etc.), where unemployment is traditionally higher than the UK, young people study very specific degrees normally to at least 5 years post-school and only those from the most prestigious universities with great internship experience will find good permanent jobs.

    I say this after having moved to Paris through a very lucky break and have been working in Intercultural Management for a big multinational group, so I'm involved in managing the differences in employment and management internationally and have to deal with the challenges of the differences between Europe 'proper' and the UK daily. Of my colleagues of similar status (France is very heirarchical) I am the least qualified, and therefore paid slightly less. When asked what I studied at uni and I reply with 'French', the reply I tend to get is 'Ah great! And...?'.

    In order to progress in my career in France, I have to have a master's, and it must be in a very specific field, and, unfortunately, it must be from a world-class university. Which is going to cost 20,000 pounds for the fees alone, and will still not really compare to those who went through the elite 'grandes écoles' system in France.

    My advice to anyone considering doing a language degree would be to go for it because it's a great experience and languages can set you apart - but also to really consider what you want to do afterwards, and study that - or something more vocational at least - as well. It's great having doors open but studying only a language moves them slightly further away (unless you want to be a translator, interpretor, teacher, etc. of course). Classmates of mine are struggling.
    As a recent graduate of Spanish and German, I would second this.

    A degree in just languages will open many doors for you, including teaching English as a foreign language, as that is what I am doing now. Other possible job options are: interpreter, translator, foreign language teacher (Spanish, French etc.), working for global companies in recruitment, import/export, jobs in the travel and tourism industry, writer, editor, proofreader etc.

    HOWEVER, it also closes some doors and a degree with one foreign language and another subject is preferable I think if there is another subject that interests you. For example, many language graduates find it hard to get very technical translation and interpreting jobs because employers prefer to pay someone who is a scientist/lawyer etc who speaks another language to do that job. All the scientific/engineering in house translation jobs I have seen, which are the best paid, are for scientists and engineers not for language graduates who know nothing of the subject.

    Also, if you move to France with a French degree, what do you have that French people don't have apart from English? Nothing. Whereas, if you go with a French and Mathematics/Science degree, you can compete with French people for jobs requiring this subject with the added advantage of knowing English as well.

    Many people are not aware of this when they choose to study a foreign language so I just thought I'd throw it out there but at the end of the day a languages degree opens more doors than no degree so good luck whatever you decide
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    (Original post by hannah_dru)
    I studied translation studies: german and now I'm an in-house translator, proofreader & interpreter for a german translation agency.
    Do you have to have a degree in at least two languages to a a translator and interpreter?
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    (Original post by Ronove)
    A languages degree essentially involves something like a History and an English degree (among other things), with focus on other cultures and languages. So comparing those isn't really helpful. I'd certainly rather do another languages degree than do English or History. As I said, I'm looking at going into Architecture or Medicine, which in contrast to those degrees you mention will qualify me for a particular career area which I would be interested in working in. If you have no idea what else you might want to do, there's nothing stopping you from doing a degree in languages. There are, after all, conversion courses in Psych and Law, and the Graduate Medicine degree, so there are ways to get into certain things after doing a different degree.

    My ex-coursemates are in their final year. I know of people from other years going into teaching or trying to work their way into publishing though. One is doing a Law conversion course. I think one might work for Erdinger Weissbräu but I'm not sure.

    By the way, I loved Germany and the Germans too, before I actually lived and worked with them for an entire year. I'd taken part in a German exchange at school approximately 3 times, stayed with the same family again in my gap year, lived in Berlin for a month while I was on a summer course, and been to Berlin on brief trips aside from that. During my year abroad I lived in three different towns/cities. Under the surface, taking into account all the good things, overall the balance was just not in Germany's favour for me. I knew I could be much happier elsewhere. And when you think of yourself as someone who wants to travel and experience other cultures and societies and you end up realising you view home in the UK as preferable to the foreign culture you're in, it becomes kind of obvious that perhaps you should write this one off and try a different one if you don't want to have regrets later in life. :p:
    I'm really interested in applying for German and also doing a Law conversion course at the end. However I have no idea who this works. Would you be able to explain it to me, or whether it would alter my university application slightly, or if only certain universities offer it?

    Thank you very much!
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    (Original post by Tefhel)
    The good thing about a language degree is that it leaves a lot of doors open, + will give you the added skill of a language (if you work hard at it). You aren't guided to any specific career, which is good in some ways, bad in others. If you decide, OK, I want to do XYZ after uni, then while you are at uni you can focus yourself towards that goal (as I am doing - getting experience etc). But you can just as easily drift through your course not getting any kind of work experience, skills etc. and then come out the other end with few prospects. (And I think this is the case for most arts degrees).

    Thus I know people, from my uni who did my degree, who have gone straight into Investment Banking or Law, and others who are now working the tills at ASDA or Xmas temping at Debenhams. It's really down to you. Your degree matters far less than you.
    Really? Surely you would need a degree in Economics or Maths for this?!
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    (Original post by Young Hot Stalin)
    I'm really interested in applying for German and also doing a Law conversion course at the end. However I have no idea who this works. Would you be able to explain it to me, or whether it would alter my university application slightly, or if only certain universities offer it?

    Thank you very much!
    Try the Law section of this site. Law conversions are open to most if not all degrees so you won't find information on it in the languages section. All I know is that you can approach places like BPP, I don't know if any standard universities offer law conversions. The information will be around on this site at any rate.
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    I graduated eight months ago with a BA in Modern Languages. I'm currently finishing my contract as an English tutor at a French university, with the possibility of staying on for a second year. As I said in my first post in this thread, I don't regret my choice of degree. I chose it because languages was and is pretty much the only thing I could ever specialise in. No other field has ever attracted me enough.

    However, had I had the choice between languages and a science, or business, or economics for example...I would always choose the latter. Or, I would do a joint honours degree, such as Spanish and Politics or French and Business. The one niggling regret that I have is that I don't have a real area of expertise. I consider myself well-educated, but aside from my linguistic ability, I don't have any special area of knowledge. Unfortunately, this makes me unemployable for a lot of exciting jobs - and aside from teaching English, there is very little I can do to spend time in foreign countries. Fortunately for me, I am very interested in interpreting and am hoping to do a Master's in CI a few years from now. For that, I do have the necessary skill set!


    Now, if languages are your only passion, then heed this advice: don't waste your money on a simple BA French or a BA German degree. If you're going to do a pure languages degree then you absolutely have to offer two languages. The stereotypical jobs of language graduates (teacher, translator, interpreter) pretty much always require two foreign languages. As such, if you are going to market yourself as a linguist then it's best to offer as many languages as possible. If you speak three or even four foreign languages, then you really do outrank other graduates in terms of linguistic capacity (whereas a BA in French can easily be matched and even surpassed by a bilingual English/French person, or a marine biologist who studies French in his spare time). BA French and Spanish, BA German and Chinese, BA Italian and Arabic...all of these are better than a single honours.
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    (Original post by Anna-Jack-Hope)
    My Mum has a French degree and went into teaching, she did English as a second language teaching in France, then French/German teaching 11-18, now she's a teaching and learning consultant for the county for MFL.
    Sounds great.
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    I'm doing a course that combines language skills with economical subjects. It's called european secretary and I will have the possibility to work in international companies, hopefully travelling a lot at least that's what can await you if you go in that direction, but it can also be risky cause you might end up as a better typist. I guess that depends on you and your ambitions. But if that sounds good to you why not get yourself informed about it? of course it's very pricy cause you can only study it at some sort of private school, but me for example I found one that offers quite good fees compared to what's out there besides. Hope I could help you a little-good luck anyway
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    I'm super stuck because before about year 10, I also thought I'd do a simple law degree, get training and become a solicitor.
    Then in year 10, I feel in love with French and German, now I'm doing French, German and Economics at A2 and I'm looking at unis now. I can't decide whether to do a MFL degree or do Law with German Law because languages are my passion, and I want my degree to have loads of language modules, but equally I want to have a vocation and be employable. I feel a straight MFL degree may leave me with no direction.
    Problem is with Law and German Law there's very few opportunities to have French incorporated. I could do MFL degree followed by GDL?? Anyone with any advice?

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