As Rayburn Tours offer inspiring experiences to so many international destinations, it makes sense that we speak the lingo! Our team of language lovers are advocates of the numerous benefits speaking a foreign language can bring.
We asked the newest recruit to the Rayburn Tours Education team, Jenny, about her experiences studying French and Spanish, opportunities that have arisen from learning a foreign language and what an impact being a linguist has had on her career path.
What inspired you to study languages at school?
Put simply, the main reasons I chose to study languages at school were that I found French and Spanish much more enjoyable than other subjects and learning them opened up plenty of exciting opportunities.
One definite advantage of studying a language is that it allows you to travel; be it on a school exchange, work experience or on a study tour. During my school years, I was lucky enough to benefit from school trips to Normandy, Angouleme and Lille.
At school I was also fortunate to have passionate language teachers who provided innovative lessons. Not only did they teach grammar and vocabulary, but topics that improved my understanding of the wider-world. The topics that you are required to discuss as part of the curriculum force you to broaden your knowledge and, as they say, knowledge is power!
What opportunities has learning a language provided you with?
A fantastic part of my language degree was the year abroad. I spent several months living and studying at respective universities in Lyon and Valencia, which provided me with the opportunity to immerse myself into French and Spanish culture and experience two diverse cities.
A highlight of my year abroad was the chance to see two unforgettable festivals: Fête des Lumières (a spectacular light festival throughout the city) and Las Fallas (the creation and destruction of statues, amongst other activities).
How have your language qualifications influenced your career path?
After graduating from university I decided I wanted my language skills and travel to form a part of my career and went into a sales role at an international wholesale company where I was conversing with customers from all over the world on a daily basis. In my current role as Sales Administrator at Rayburn Tours, I am delighted to be able to combine the use of my language skills with my passion for travel.
How important are languages in your current role?
I’m quite new to the role at Rayburn Tours, but already my language skills have come in very useful.
An important part of my job is being able to converse with suppliers overseas, so being able to converse in their target language ensures I am understood and help to build stronger relationships.
The geographical and cultural aspects of my language studies at school and university, combined with personal trips to a number of the destinations Rayburn Tours offers, contribute to my general knowledge of our products and have helped me to understand how the destinations and excursions that we offer link with the school curriculum.
What advice would you give to anyone thinking of studying a language?
Never underestimate the importance of learning a language. Being able to speak a foreign language is a well-respected skill and is invaluable for work and travel.