Universiteit Leiden

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High school students get acquainted with language studies at profile selection day

The Choose a Language Day was created to make high school students enthusiastic about choosing a linguistic profile and further education. Third-years were able to learn about different language studies at the Faculty of Humanities.

'Information activities are usually aimed at students in later classes,' says associate professor Marion Elenbaas, who helped organise the day. 'At the same time, we realised there was a demand for information for younger students who have yet to make their profile choices.'

Specifically for languages, there was something to be gained in this area. 'The content of language subjects in high school is quite different from that of language studies at university. As a result, students interested in studying languages sometimes make different choices. The purpose of this afternoon is to give undergraduate students a better idea of what it entails to study languages and the wealth of career opportunities open to graduates of a language study.'

All cool

That seemed to work well. Yaël, who was visiting the university with her class, was enthusiastic about the afternoon. 'It's good that attention is also given to languages. Many people see studying languages as just learning words, but a language study is much more versatile than that. It's good that this is highlighted here. Yaël herself was still in doubt about her choice of study: 'I think languages are very cool, especially when you look at the parallels between cultures. But my first choice is still the medical field.'

There are also students who already know they want to go into languages. Anna-Isa is one of them: 'I applied for this day specifically because of the languages. There are lots of languages that I like and find interesting. Russian, Chinese, Spanish and Korean are all cool to me. I just don't know yet if I want to study a specific language or linguistics in general.'

Worth repeating

In addition to a look at the different languages that can be studied at the university, the pupils also got to talk to students and teachers. 'That was something the students were really enthusiastic about,' Elenbaas said. Consequently, the turnout was high. 'With languages you see that what you don’t know, you can’t appreciate. With this day, we as subject support centres for languages have contributed to showcasing language studies even better. We hope to make this an annual event.'

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