At Swiss International School in Dubai, we pride ourselves in our multilingual curriculum, with all the benefits that knowing more than one language provides. Our English-French and English-German streams all provide our students with great opportunities for the future.
We’ve already discussed the French curriculum in great detail in our previous article, and by extension the advantages of studying in the French language stream. Now, let’s talk about the advantages of learning the German language.
Studying in Germany means potentially integrating into the workforce of one of the most powerful and stable economies in the world. Germany has the largest economy in Europe, fourth largest GDP in the world, and is among the top ten import/export countries for both the US and the UK, who are themselves the other world-power economies.
On top of these facts, German is also the official language of two other large European economies – namely Switzerland and Austria. Doing business with companies from these countries will be greatly benefited by knowing the language.
Universities in Germany are recognized all over the world as a standard of quality; having graduated from one is definitely a mark of excellence. In 2011, the nation was ranked third in Quacquarelli Symonds’ (QS) World University Rankings. In 2008, six of the top 100 institutions in the Academic Ranking of World Universities were based in Germany.
Aside from excellence, there’s also clearly defined standard that ensures that graduate degrees have specific accreditation all over the world. A bachelor’s or master’s degree and a PhD from a German university will be treated as such anywhere you go.
There are 29 German companies on the Fortune 500, which ties Germany with France for the largest number of companies on the list. Meanwhile, every 20 minutes, a startup is founded in Berlin. In fact, knowing German might increase one’s salary by 4%.
German has 95 million native speakers, making it the second-most prevalent language in Europe after English. Around the world, there are also 10-15 million more speakers who have German as a second language.
English and German both have the same Proto-Germanic linguistic origins. Many words in English are taken or adapted from German. In fact, some of the grammar rules are shared between the two languages. If you’re a native English speaker, then learning German should be much easier than a Romance language like French or a non-European language.
From operas to philosophical works, from novels to scientific treatises, a lot has been written in the German language. By learning it, you open yourself up to these cultural opportunities, and pave the way for a greater appreciation of the world.
Knowing the German language provides your child with the opportunity to study in Germany, whose universities require some level of German proficiency.
The cost of living and studying in this country are prodigiously low compared to other countries where you’d be able to study abroad. Imagine spending just over 500 euros a month to rent a flat in the capital of Berlin. It’s even cheaper if you live elsewhere away from the bigger cities.
On the education side, there are many private programmes that only cost a few thousand euros ever year, and if you choose to send your child to study at one of the country’s many fine public institutions, you’ll spend a few hundred euros per semester. Both local students and international students can benefit from this low-cost education.
Language acquisition is best at younger ages, when the mind is malleable. Having your children study German has economic, intellectual, and educational benefits that won’t take too long to reap. And that’s already on top of the existing advantages of bilingualism!