Growing up in a traditional German household, I was far from believing I would ever make it out of the countryside let alone work in an international company. But that didn’t stop me from pursuing my enthusiasm first for English and then for French. Listening to myself speaking another language made me feel like I could take on a different identity. This had me dreaming about leaving behind the country life and diving into the more exciting hustle of a big city.
I realized this shortly before my 18th birthday, as I got the chance to attend an English summer course at UCSB in Santa Barbara, California, which I enjoyed very much. The class also strengthened my own belief of one day being able to live in another country.
My interest in foreign cultures grew steadily from then on and I realized that, after my school graduation, I wanted to broaden my horizon with more international experiences.
My passion for languages has enabled me to study abroad, meet people from all over the world, learn about foreign cultures and, ultimately, to land on a job in an international work environment. Being multilingual is not only in demand on the job market but also opens many doors, such as being able to converse with Mennonite Germans on the Great Plains in Canada to my surprise.
The curiosity for other languages and cultures has sometimes functioned as a compass throughout my life and it has helped me to complete various journeys.
The possibilities that were opened to me
Today I live in Denmark and I am proud to have mastered a basic level of Danish thanks to the help of language apps. A Spanish course that I took during the last year of my Bachelor has enabled me to follow the conversations of my Argentinian roommates. At the same time, I still learn more about the variants of my native language just like with a trip to Switzerland that I took earlier this year to visit my brother there.
Next year I am planning to start over in the Netherlands after having heard about the high quality of life there. Linguistically, I expect to be in good shape with prior knowledge of three Germanic languages. And I am always eager to learn more.
By Clara Franziska Bachmann – Language Student Ambassador
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