Female student sitting on the ground smiling. Text over the image reads: "Undergraduate studies in the GSS department"

Why should you be keen on language and culture?

If you want to get to know the world, really get to know people from other cultures, or do business with other societies, you will find that one of your most important skills will be the ability to communicate in the language of the society in which you're living, traveling, or working.  Language study also helps you develop your cognitive abilities (i.e. your brain power), and it makes you a more sophisticated user of your own first language.

Studying in the Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies:

Here is what some of our graduates and employers are saying about language study

If a candidate has language learning experience on his or her cv, I am looking at this candidate favourably already because that experience tells me that this candidate is open for challenges and willing to try something new.

Joerg Stieber, CEO, Ontario Drive & Gear

Language is the key to understanding culture – know your customer. The party who accommodates the other party by speaking their language has the high ground.

Joerg Stieber, CEO, Ontario Drive & Gear

Learning a second language shows prospective employers that you are dedicated and committed to things you are passionate about because language acquisition doesn’t just happen overnight. Taking advantage of opportunities to go abroad also demonstrates tenacity and flexibility as it shows that you can tackle any unexpected turns along your way to achieve a certain goal.

Rebecca Kaster, German/Arts and Business Co-op graduate, technology consultant

Audio: Rebecca Kaster on languages and tenacity (WAV)

It is not too late to start learning a language at university. It is possible to become quite proficient in the language even after three or four years of university, especially if you go on exchange as part of your language studies, as I did.

Rebecca Kaster, German/Arts and Business Co-op graduate, technology consultant

Audio: Rebecca Kaster on becoming proficient in a second language (WAV)

Professionally, my German degree gave me the confidence to communicate directly with German-speaking organizations, enables me to do quality and in-depth field research in our company's topics of interest, and let's me read-up on what our competition is doing around the world. Personally, my degree helped me meet two of my best friends who live in Germany, enabled me to better communicate with family and friends that still live or moved to Europe, let me expand my passion of cycling and doing biathalon races in Europe.

Jasmin Hofer, Honours German/Co-op graduate, owner of Energrow Inc.

We have lots of information here to help you find your way through our programs. But you may still have questions! If that's the case, we're here to help.

Reach us by email!