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Study Languages and Linguistics

The Language of Success
Hiroko Wilcocks Griffith University
In today's global workplace, qualifications in language and linguistics are important ingredients for success. Learning how a foreign language can bridge differences in culture and society ensures that graduates have an understanding of the many ways to communicate and successfully operate in the workplace of the world. These skills also give professionals of the future the ability to examine the relationship between their own language and their society. 

Each year, more than 60,000 international students choose Australia as the location in which to study their university degree programs. With its ethnic diversity and emphasis on inclusion and  tolerance, Australia stands out as an ideal place for students to further their education. Australian universities typically offer great flexibility, so students can combine their  language studies with the more vocationally-orientated fields, such as commerce, law, tourism, education, international business and finance, to name just a few. The added bonus  of beautiful beaches, wide open spaces and a warm, sunny environment draw many international students to the state of Queensland.

Queensland is often referred to as the Sunshine State, and it offers students interested in the study of languages and linguistics the choice  of seven universities. Among the languages offered are Chinese, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Indonesian,  Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latin, Russian, Sanskrit, Spanish, Thai, Vietnamese, and English.

Choose Your  language!

While the full list is not available at all Queensland universities, collaborative arrangements ensure that students have easy access to the language of their choice. These arrangements include cross-institutional enrolments, where universities are located close to each other and, for universities further apart, the use of the latest information technology, such as the Internet and video-  conferencing linkups.

In recent years, many Queensland universities have also signed agreements with universities in the  Asia-Pacific region, Europe and North and South America. These agreements provide invaluable opportunities for students to develop their understanding of a language, as well as gain deeper insight into culture and society.

Some universities enable students to combine their language studies with linguistics - the science, nature and function of language and how it is used in society. In addition to gaining proficiency in a chosen language, students of languages and linguistics in Queensland universities also develop a range of skills that are relevant to many other fields of study and professions. These skills include  the ability to think critically and creatively, to use initiative and have the ability to function effectively as part of a team.

Combine these skills with language and linguistics expertise, and graduates are likely to be valued in a wide range of industries and careers including:

- Education and teaching;

- Translation and interpreting;

- Travel, tourism and hospitality;

- Publishing and journalism;

- Sales and marketing;

- Advertising and public relations;

- International business and relations;

- Importing and exporting;

- Law and commerce;

- Banking and finance.

 In our international workplace, students should give serious consideration to taking up the study of languages and linguistics as part of a degree program. The ideal climate and friendliness of the people in Queensland ensures Australia's sunshine state is not only a wonderful location for developing skills, but stands out as a lifetime opportunity to undertake tertiary education that will ensure international students make a difference in the global village.