Jakarta at nightWhile English has become the language of international business, science, politics, and the Internet, it is not the language in which most of the world thinks. Chinese, Arabic, Bahasa, Farsi, and others are critical to our country, and the countries that speak these languages are enormously different from the United States. Therefore, it is especially important that people in the U.S. obtain a better understanding of how the people in those countries think, what they want, and how they live. You can’t do any of those things without developing language and intercultural skills.

Languages Enhance Your Educational Experience

If you study a critical language seriously, you will accumulate knowledge that is exceptionally valuable, and that few other people in the U.S. are likely to have. Because various government agencies value these skills so highly, the U.S. government developed the National Security Language Initiative (NSLI), an inter-agency effort to expand the number of Americans studying these languages.

The rewards for learning critical languages are great. Officers in the military receive incentive pay for fluency in these languages. Whether a person joins the service or not, critical language ability can open new job opportunities, new opportunities for leadership, and offers significant personal benefits. Professions such as law, diplomacy, and business all have a tremendous need for highly skilled professionals who can successfully interact with people who speak Chinese, Middle Eastern languages, and languages from many other parts of the world. Foreign language proficiency will significantly enhance one’s career potential and lead to significant new opportunities. International corporations are learning that competition is arising in countries where a vast majority of skilled workers speak critical languages and English.

Contribute to Leadership Potential & Career Readiness

In the Corps of Cadets, critical language skills add to a cadet’s leadership potential, enhance cadet’s ability to interact successfully in multiple environments, and contribute to career readiness.

Finally, the study of a critical language adds a new and compelling aspect to a cadet’s academic life. In addition to majors that require a foreign language, such as International Studies, technical majors, such as engineering, science, and architecture, value these language skills.