As I am two months away from graduating, and in the middle of a row of exams (yes, I am aware I should be working, but everyone needs a break), I thought I would put into words why you should consider a languages degree. Because honestly, I love it.
1) The kudos: Go into any conversation and when someone asks what you study, and you casually say 'Spanish', they will immediately be impressed. You will then end up hearing about their aunt who lived in Benidorm for a year, but it really is worth it just for the look of admiration when they realise that you are bilingual.
2) Being bi/polylingual: There is nothing more satisfying than being able to be deal with any situation, from renting a flat to buying an ice cream, in a foreign language, and having your listener respond in the same language. In addition, most universities offer languages students the opportunity to study another language from beginner level: for me, it was obligatory, and I was lucky enough to study both German and Russian in my first year...though I cannot speak either of them now.
3) The job opportunities: There is zero truth in the rumour that all languages students either become translators or teachers. Just think about it. With the 'world becoming smaller' by the day, and with the Internet and social media becoming more and more important in business, every single industry requires people that can speak other languages. From fashion houses that need people to organise shoots in Barcelona, to the people who will be running the Olympics in Rio, and even down to the waiter who was able to check that your pasta sauce was vegetarian because he could speak English, language affects every element of modern life.
And don't think the excuse of 'everyone speaks English' will save you. English is only the third most spoken native language in the world, behind Mandarin and Spanish. So don't try it.
4) The travel: My degree course, and I am willing to bet all language degrees will offer either optional or obligatory study abroad periods. I personally spent a year in Seville, working in a school, though I know people who spent a few months working on a coffee farm in Nicaragua, to working in a publishing house in Madrid. And it's not just the amazing work experience (that by the way, future employers love!), it is everything else that comes with it: the food, the weather, the amazing tan, the friends and all the incredible memories that you will leave with.
And it's not just in university that having a language degree will give you these opportunities: having a second language will give you so many chances to travel abroad for so many reasons other than tourism - maybe your boss needs someone to attend Madrid Fashion Week, and wants someone to interview a Spanish designer? You can be that person. There is just so much that you can offer.
5) You are not tied down: You will have so much flexibility, both in and out of university. My university allowed me to choose modules outside my school, meaning that I was able to take modules such as journalism, giving me a whole host of different skills. And in the work place, as I've already said, languages can open doors into so many areas, from law to politics to cinema to hospitality...it really is up to you!
6) The degree itself: Okay, I will admit here that doing speaking exams really does suck. Standing up in front of people, talking about something in another language is seriously daunting, but once you have got through it, you can do it again and again. My teachers have been amazing, and due to the Spanish attitude, the classes have (usually) been fun and very interesting, and in no other degree would you be able to go out drinking with your lecturers. The openness and friendship that comes with a degree that basically revolves around talking is like none other.
Not to mention the fact that the government will often fund postgraduate teaching courses for subjects that are 'rare' - languages is one of them, so gaining a 2:1 in a language degree could get you a £20,000 grant to train as a languages teacher.
I am so glad that I chose to study Spanish, and I know that, even though I am planning on going into the family business of being a teacher, I have such an extra edge to my skill set that I will never have much trouble finding a job in the future.
And if that hasn't persuaded you, don't forget that these hotties are native Spanish speakers:
Much love xx