The chance to put your degree into practice
The best thing about studying languages is that you graduate with a tangible skill that you can use for the rest of your life. Not only do you learn all the transferable skills of a humanities degree such as learning how to write essays, working independently, and effective research skills, you also gain the practical skill of being able to read, write and speak in two languages. This opens up the possibility to living and working abroad around the world and is hugely beneficial in the future especially if you want to work in an international role.
It opens up a whole new world to experience
For me, I love that I can use the skills I have learnt in my degree every single day. For instance, the fact that I can understand French and Spanish means I have a whole new world of media to experience. I can watch Netflix in two more languages, in addition to having thousands more foreign books, songs, podcasts, radio shows and much more accessible to me. Some of the best shows and books I have seen and watched have been in French and Spanish. It really makes your degree feel worthwhile and has the added benefit that you can improve your languages easily in your free time simply by watching a TV show or reading a book.
The variety of modules that you can study over the course of your degree
Studying two languages means that you get a large range of modules to choose from. I study French and Spanish which means that my module could cover any part of the French and Spanish speaking world. Furthermore, languages are a multidisciplinary degree so you could study literature, film, politics, history and many more options. Aside from the cultural modules, as a joint languages student, 50% of your classes will be language based such as speaking, writing and translation. These small class groups feel much more like a traditional interactive school lesson and gives you a nice change from the classic university lecture and seminar system.
Comparing the similarities and differences between the two languages
The main question I get asked when I tell people I study French and Spanish is if I find that confusing or I get the two languages mixed up. In reality, I find that studying two languages isn’t confusing at all and if anything, it actually helps. French and Spanish are both romance languages, so they share similar vocabulary and grammar rules that complement each other. As they are also both in the same department at King’s, they share similar mark schemes and requirements, although there are some differences. For instance, the translation techniques I have learnt in French, I can also apply to my Spanish translation assessments
The year abroad
The year abroad is one of the main attractions of doing a language degree and if you do joint languages you get to split your year abroad between the two. This means you get the chance to experience a whole new country and immerse yourself in a wealth of new traditions and experiences. You can pick from studying at a foreign university, doing an internship, or being a teaching assistant and can go more or less anywhere in the Francophone and Spanish speaking worlds. After your year abroad, you will be much more confident in your language skills and also your cultural understanding and awareness of the countries you were able to visit.
For more information on joint languages courses at King’s:
Check out Elizabeth’s blog post: A Day in the Life of a Joint Languages Student
Learn more about the Modern Languages BA that King’s offers
Read Tamina’s blog post on Reasons why you should study languages at university
*Please note that as of August 2022 the Departments of German, French, Spanish, Portuguese & Latin American Studies and Comparative Literature merged to form the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures. For more information visit the Department page: https://www.kcl.ac.uk/dllc