Our world grows more globalized every day, and employers are recognizing the growing necessity to have well-read and well-traveled employees. Students who have studied abroad typically have a greater awareness of the diversity of the world and are more likely to be compassionate toward people from different cultures. For this reason, an employer will likely hire a person who has studied abroad, trusting that having this experience in their past will make them a better employee in the present.
All employers love to see acquisition of languages. What better way to learn a new language than to live in the very place it's spoken? Even if you aren't majoring or minoring in a language, studying abroad typically gives you the opportunity to learn at least a little of a new language. Furthermore, I am convinced that, regardless of what major you are in, learning a language is crucial to every job and every person's life. It’s not just a necessity, but also a courtesy. There’s a growing epidemic in the American mentality called ‘entitlement.’ In our self-centered ways, we believe we shouldn’t have to do anything with regards to understanding other cultures. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard someone say, “Why can’t they all just learn English?” To that I respond, “Why does it have to be your language?" Why not Spanish or Chinese, which both actually have more speakers than English? Are we as a society seriously this lazy?
We need to stop making excuses for not learning a language and start taking action. I’m a Digital Communications major. Do I really need a Spanish minor? No. In fact, I may never use the Spanish I’m learning right now. However, my parents have instilled in me the value of being courteous to other cultures (growing up in the house of a former Russian major will do that to you). This value of courtesy is something that any good employer would respect in a potential employee, and being able to express this sentiment will score major points in any interview.