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Winterline Programs

How much time do you have? Whether you spend a year, a semester or a summer on a Winterline program, you will visit extraordinary places, experience new cultures, learn new skills and find out something important about yourself. And you’ll have an awesome time doing it.

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Spanish is easily one of the most useful languages in the world, certainly in the US. No matter what you do, speaking Spanish is going to make your life easier.

Here's 7 reasons why we incorporate learning Spanish into our 9-month Global Skills Gap Year Program.

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Photo credit: Prathana Shrestha, current Winterline Student

Learning is best in-context

We always strive to embed our programs into the contexts where they'd best be learned. Why not learn SCUBA diving at a coral reef, rather than a swimming pool? Why not learn about sustainable energy at some of the premiere institutions in Europe? Learning Spanish is the same. If you learn it in context, all of the meanings within the grammar and the motivation for learning itself come together more naturally and faster. We're all about deep learning experiences.

Ability to communicate with other people

Spanish is spoken by over four hundred million people world wide, which makes it the second most spoken language in the world after Mandarin Chinese. As far as official languages goes, Spanish is the main language for twenty-one different countries, which makes it one of the most useful travel languages out there. If you study it at the start of your gap year, think of all the doors that might open for you along the way.

Appreciation of more cultures

There's often no better way to learn about the intricacies of a culture than to learn the ways people express themselves verbally. Even from region to region, variations in speech can tell you an enormous amount about the ways others see the world. Learning Spanish during your gap year can open up encounters with people that might forever change your life for the better, increasing access to the culture on an immediate scale.

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Photo credit: Prathana Shrestha, current Winterline Student

It Makes you more hireable

Whether you're interested in management, sales, marketing, banking, or telecommunications, Spanish-speaking ability is becoming one of the fastest growing job needs in the world. We have nothing against students getting great jobs in fast growing industries.

Helps you understand your own language better

This one is not unique to Spanish per se, but learning a foreign language often provides a much deeper appreciation for your own native language, and of the sensibilities and idiosyncracies of the lengua franca in which you grew up, especially your own grammar. For example, why can you say three cups in English, but not three milks?

Because its cool

Speaking Spanish is awesome. Ben Affleck, Maya Angelou, David Beckham, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Matt Damon all speak it, even though its not their native tongue. Plus, you probably have friends who speak it, and wouldn't you want to know when they're sharing secrets with each other?

It keeps your brain active

There are many documented advantages to bilingualism. But even if you're not a young child or concerned about the long-term effects of aging on the human mind, speaking another language can really sharpen your mind, and help you keep bringing your A-Game to whatever you do. 

It will help you get ahead when you get to college

Most colleges and universities have language requirements. They used to be Latin, but thankfully, these days you get to choose. If you have a solid foundation in a foreign language by the time you enter, you can often 'test out' of the foreign language requirement, or at least skip the really basic intro classes, saving time and giving you the opportunity to focus on all the things you want to do.


Interested in the Winterline 9-month Global Skills Program?

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