Where could languages take you?

Jobs for bilinguals: what’s in store for language learners?

signpost pointing in two different directions
What does the future hold for bilinguals?

What if you could hop into a time machine to see what you might be doing in 20 years? We can’t deliver a time machine, well not yet anyway, but we can give you an idea of what kind of jobs will use your language skills.

As a general rule, knowing a foreign language is brilliant for your employability: it shows that you are tenacious, assiduous, and adaptable. However there are some jobs where knowing a foreign language is a huge advantage, and sometimes even essential.

We’re not sure about you, but we think the future’s looking bright for bilinguals!

 

Interpreter

a microphone in front of an audience
Interpreters can find themselves in an exciting range of settings from one day to the next

Have you ever seen a TV programme with someone signing the dialogue in the corner? This person is an interpreter.

Interpreters convert  spoken or signed language from one language to another in a variety of settings. They can find themselves working at conferences and exhibitions, community events, criminal justice proceedings, and event on the television or radio. In fact, as interpreters often work freelance, they can end up working in all of these settings! You can be sure that a career in interpreting will give you a huge variety of experiences: you’ll need a good memory, excellent communication skills, and a high level of your second language… Better get practising!!

 

Translator

Translation booth
The job of a translator is to convert text from one language to another, they can work from home, abroad, or on location.

Like an interpreter, a translator converts one language into another. However, a translator deals with written material, rather than spoken.

Translators can specialise in a huge range of sectors, including literature, scientific and technical documents, legal documents, and even films. That’s right – translators have even written the subtitles when you watch a foreign film!

Translation is a hugely competitive field, especially as translators are often freelance, working from anywhere that they want to in the world.

 

Teacher

Many bilinguals go on to share their passion for languages by teaching others. Language graduates are highly sought-after for school teaching roles, however you can teach languages in other settings too. Many bilinguals work as private tutors, both online and in person, whilst may  teach language evening classes or head abroad to teach English as a foreign language. Where ever you teach, you’re sure to meet a whole range of interesting people!

 

Travel writer or photographer

Photographer
Travel photographers and writers make a living from discovering new places.

Although you may be telling stories through the lens of your camera or in your mother tongue, speaking the language of another culture will enrich these stories as it is a great way to encourage the locals to open up to you. Travel writing and photography is competitive, however you can start practising right away by writing about your language exchange abroad!

 

Tour guide

tourists
Helping visitors to get to know your city is hugely rewarding, especially if you get to practice languages too!

During a language exchange, your partner often acts as a guide, taking you on a tour of the region. In some ways, this is also the job of a tour guide.

Tour guides accompany visitors around towns and monuments to give them the inside story on the local area. These visitors often come from foreign countries, so speaking another language is a huge help!

 

Flight Attendant

aeroplane flying over water infront of a sunset
Taking to the skies is ideal for those with a taste for adventure and for travel!

Flight attendants make the jet-setting lifestyle their occupation, much of their role takes place up in the air en route to far-flung corners of the world!

Cabin crew often work unsociable hours (evening and weekends) however they enjoy many benefits when it comes to travel.

Speaking another language can be essential for flight attendants, putting bilinguals in a great position to take to the skies!

 

Journalist

Speaking another language isn’t necessary for journalism, however it is hugely beneficial for finding stories and communicating with the locals, especially if you’re working abroad as a foreign correspondent!

Back to Reality

How to cope with coming home after your language exchange

So much time and thought, not to mention countless to-do lists, are invested into preparing for an exchange abroad, but there’s one thing that we’re never quite ready for: coming home.

(Not sure how to prepare for your trip? Consult our recipe for a great exchange)

A pile of old suitcases next to a chair
Putting down you suitcases in your own home can feel surprisingly strange after an adventure abroad!

Oddly enough, the end of an adventure always seems to come out of the blue. It’s not that we’re not expecting it, but we never expect it to be quite so tricky… On the one hand you’re happy to reunite with family and friends, but on the other, the trip you’ve spent so much time preparing for is all of a sudden behind you! How did the time pass so quickly? Did it really happen or was it all just a dream?

Don’t worry, here at Kinder Exchange we’re no strangers to going off on adventures and the inevitable return to our ‘normal lives’, so we’ve put our heads together and come up with a list of ways to make the coming home a whole lot easier…

Stay in touch

By keeping in contact with your host family and friends, you not only nurture lifelong friendships and keep your exchange experience alive, but can keep speaking the language, and make plans to visit them again! Technology makes staying in touch easy, but who doesn’t love a postcard every now and then?

Take home some customs

Staying with a native host is a truly special experience and gives an extraordinary insight into another culture. Of course, you’ll learn about the a country’s more prominent traditions, but you’ll also discover and adopt more nuanced customs. Why not take a few home with you? Adopting aspects of your host’s culture when you return home will help you to feel connected to the country and people that you’ve met and will also serve as a little reminder of your experience.

A pile of French books, comic, magazines and DVDs
The writer’s kit for continuing to feel the benefits of an exchange, even when she’s back home!

Take home some recipes

We can’t deny it, one of our favourite things about travelling is all of the amazing cuisine we get to taste… (you haven’t lived until you’ve sampled the Fontainebleau puddings just down the road from Kinder Exchange HQ!). Food doesn’t always travel so well in a suitcase, so why not ask your host family to note down the recipes for the meals you’ve eaten? As a bonus, you can impress your family with a taste of your adventure when you get home!

Keep speaking the language

During your exchange abroad you’ll have oodles of opportunities to speak another language and maybe even learn to talk like the locals! Nothing is more inspiring than putting your linguistic prowess to practical use, try to harness that inspiration when you get home and continue to use the language. Whether you’re reading magazines, comics and books, listening to podcasts, or chatting to your host family on Skype; the more you keep using the language, the more you’ll keep reaping the rewards of your exchange even after returning home!

Two young women looking over a view with their arms open in the air
Where will your next adventure take you?

Plan your next adventure!

There’s nothing better to keep the post-exchange blues at bay than planning your next adventure! Where would you like to go next? Maybe you want to return to a country to get to know it better; maybe you’re hankering for unexplored lands… Whatever you’re planning, we’d love to hear about it! (Why not tweet us to tell us about your next destination?)

The Benefits of Becoming a Host Family

Opening the door of your home to an exchange student can be one of the most rewarding and life-changing experiences of your life. Your family would have an extraordinary opportunity to experience different cultures first hand and to create lifelong relationships with people and families around the world. Here are just a few reasons to become a host family.

host familySharing your own culture – As a guide for an international student eager to learn about your culture, your family will showcase all the things that make it unique. In return, you will find you appreciate your culture that much more and will be reminded of all the great things it has to offer to the world. Introducing your new family member to the cuisine, music and people of your country will undoubtedly make their stay an unforgettable experience that will follow them for the rest of their life.

Learning about a new culture – This process is a two way street and while you’re promoting your own culture you would have a wonderful chance to learn about new, exciting countries, people and traditions. Expand your family’s horizons and connect them to the world without even having to leave your home.

Making lifelong friendships – After the student’s visit has come to an end, many host families and students stay in touch. Host families often travel to visit their student in his/her country where they continue to bond and strengthen their relationship. Students also come back and revisit which further deepens your connection. Friendships established through these exchange programs help promote mutual cultural understanding by bringing different nationalities together.

Practicing a new language – This experience can be beneficial for both a host family and a student in terms of learning or perfecting a foreign language. Your family will be exposed to a new language in a relaxed setting of your own home which would in return make learning it much more fun and exciting.

Having fun – All of our host families emphasize how fun their experiences were! They share stories filled with laughter and good times spent with their guests. They all agree that the experience was well worth it and very exciting.

These are just some of the many benefits of being a host family. Every exchange will be different and special in its own way and will bring something new to your family. One thing is certain, it will enrich you while broadening your horizons and will leave you with life-long memories and true friendships.

To learn more about our exchange program and to sign up please visit kinderexchange.org or give us a call at +33 6 60 65 50 89

Written by Marko Manojlovic for Kinder Exchange

How to become bilingual ?

Knowledge of a second language has become increasingly important for both personal and professional growth. Whether you are working for a multinational company or simply enjoy traveling and long to immerse yourself in different cultures, being bilingual offers a breadth of advantages. Celebrities like Bradley Cooper and Johny Depp, both speak French, and Leonardo di Caprio is fluent in German. Similarly, Matt Damon and Gwyneth Paltrow perfected their Spanish skills as students living with local families of South America and Spain. If your dream is to be bilingual like these stars, read on – you are in the right place!

Different ways to learn a new language :
Bilingual schools are becoming an inaccessible dream to many parents as they become increasingly selective and costly. As a result, many parents have been forced to improvise, seeking out creative alternatives for ensuring their children learn a second language. Fortunately, many user-friendly apps and online language courses such as Rosetta Stone or « Ingles sin Bareras » offer effective means for learning a new language. Additionally, some parents have found success in recruiting a bilingual nanny or au pair while others have turned to summer camps or afterschool lessons.

bilingualLiving with A foreign partner
Multinational households can ensure their children are raised bilingual by implementing the « One Parent One Language » (OPOL) method. This practice calls for each parent to speak solely their native tongue when conversing with their child, providing a solid base for the child’s continuous learning and understanding of both languages. It’s important to note that OPOL must be implemented in the household early in the child’s development to avoid confusion. To learn more about this method, visit the Multilingual Children Association.

Learn with a reciprocal language exchange program
One of the most successful methods for learning a second language is full language immersions through a reciprocal language exchange program. These programs offer the chance for your child to live abroad and communicate daily with local, native speakers. Living abroad with a local host family allows participants to discover different cultures, traditions and people. The reciprocal nature of these program also offers parents an enriching experience as they open their doors to a child from a different background, country and culture. The experience has proven to broaden horizons for both families and instills in children valuable skills needed for adapting to new and unfamiliar experiences with ease. Participation in language exchange programs can begin at any age and children over the age of 11 can travel on most airlines unaccompanied.
Kinder Exchange facilitates language exchange programs with unparalleled ease and convenience. If you and your family are interested in learning new languages and connecting with individuals from across the globe, simply follow the instructions to take the first step in what is sure to be an adventure of a lifetime.

Written by Marko Manojlovic for Kinder Exchange