Are you a student in the faculty of languages? Are you studying a major not related to linguistics but you are still into languages? If your answer is “yes” to either question, then this blog is for you. You must have seen many “A” students out there who cannot get jobs easily or whose performance is not as good as other students with lesser grades and GPAs. This is not surprising, as there are things a university student with an interest in linguistics ought to do in order to begin with a solid footing.
Before we start, you must believe the fact that every minute of the experience is precious and must be put into good use. You should also realize that marks and grades are not everything you should be concerned about, for there are many skills that compulsory education might just not offer.
Here are some things you should consider doing during your years as a student in the faculty of languages:
In every university, each faculty has its own extracurricular activities or ones that are for the campus as a whole. The most common extracurricular activity in any faculty of languages is the hosting of language club sessions where students gather and discuss different issues about themselves and their lives; be it English or Spanish or Italian or Russian or Chinese…etc.
It is not only a language practice when you attend such language club sessions but also a good way of socializing with others and getting to know new people to share your experiences with them and learn from their expertise as well. Building a social life in university and within the local community helps a lot in boosting a person’s professional path.
Sometimes there are events and workshops throughout the year that you can attend to learn about something new. The more specified these workshops are, the more helpful they are prone to be. Some faculties have open days where there are performances, segments and other fun events that help students feel immersed and involved in their environment and the first-hand issues they are facing. All these events can be a gateway for you to learn how to start doing something, and then you can pick up it from there.
Follow any pages on social media related to your faculty or even in your city and stay up-to-date with the events going on in order not miss any of them and maximize the reaped benefits and gains. Later on in life, when for example you graduate, you will think back to those times when you attended and participated in those activities, and realize how much you might have missed had you not been an integral part of them.
Solo Activities and Volunteering
Apart from events held by your university, faculty or the local community, there are also activities that you can do on your own to improve your language and volunteering opportunities that you can take up to improve your skills and professionalism early on.
For example, if you are a double major student of English and Spanish, you can use your free time to learn how to translate from English to Spanish and also from Spanish to English. However, you cannot rely on a Spanish-English dictionary alone, so if you know any experts who have free time, you can ask for their help to assess your work. You can also read blogs and books to learn about specific fields, like legal translation for example, and obtain knowledge that might help you expand your horizons in that area.
Many organizations and companies also offer volunteering opportunities where you can for example teach foreigners in your country or city your language or dialect while in exchange they teach you theirs. You can volunteer to teach the language that you are learning to children for example or work at a library where you are surrounded by a myriad of books you can read to increase your knowledge.
Self learning should be part of your lifestyle not only as a student, but throughout your whole life. The best part about learning things on your own is that you have the choice and freedom to pick the topic or topics you are passionate about. I personally believe that formal education is great but self education is much more satisfactory and fun.
To stay on track, you need to find opportunities to volunteer and improve your professionalism and linguistic skills. Doing volunteer work when you are still a student—and probably can afford spending time doing work for free— will reflect very highly on your professional future.
Internships and Part-time Jobs
There are many jokes about how the job market demands work experience from people who just graduated and barely made it into the market in order for them to land a job, but they cannot get that job because they have no experience.
Well, there are solutions for that problem that you can implement when you are a university student. Internships are a period of time where you get to work in a job’s actual environment. For example, you can work as a translator in the newsroom of a newspaper, or as a freelance journalist. Internships are sometimes paid and sometimes not, so you need to find one that suits your financial and professional needs, or if you can afford it, only your professional needs until you have enough experience.
Most internships last for several months only, sometimes even just weeks, but they are wonderful when spent at the right place, as they allow you to get the full-experience and learn so many new things, usually in a fast-paced environment.
There are many websites that notify you about new available internships in your area of residence, you just need to find the right one for you. Your contacts, friends, social media and many other mediums can help you learn about and apply for an internship that is in your field of interest; whether in translation, copywriting, editing, proofreading or other educational-related language fields.
To afford tuition, expenses and other necessities of the student life, students usually take up part-time jobs. Finding a part-time job in your field of expertise, one that is related to your major, is a great step to building up professional experience and get paid. Part-time jobs are usually three to four hours, and there you can meet full-timers who are most probably the experts you need in your life to help you obtain the skills you need in order to grow and prosper.
Part-time jobs do not have to be in an office, they can be in the form of freelance gigs. Many companies hire translators, freelance creative writers and blog content providers to work remotely for them and their whole payment process is online.
Thus, you can do freelance jobs at your own place, from the comfort of your favorite workspace and on top of all that, the best part, get paid!
If you read so far, that’s great, it shows your dedication and eagerness to take action and do what is necessary for your growth and prosperity. Use the time you have on your hands and delve into as many experiences as possible in order to have the best resume. Of course nothing should get in the way of your fun, no one should work like a robot or a drone, but find the thing you like to do and you will indeed never have to work a day in your life, that sentiment is true.