What is the Value of Studying Abroad and Learning Another Language?

BDW's picture
Rank: Senior Monkey | 82

Currently, I'm studying Chinese and I'm curious as to what the potential benefits are. I am considering studying abroad in China but I'm wondering if taking the time to do so for a quarter or so will be worth it compared to getting an internship during that same span. What are some of the experiences that you guys have had either being bilingual or working with those who are? What are the benefits from taking the time to learn another language and applying it in a business setting? Is it worth it?

Comments (3)

Apr 5, 2019

Worked closely with a dozen of Chinese over the years. China is not like any other country when it comes to doing business. Even if you're fluent in the language, I don't think it will be a huge leg-up when doing business. We had American-Chinese and British-Chinese people in our team and they suggested we bring someone from the Hong Kong office when discussing deals in China. It's more of a culture-barrier and less language-barrier.

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Apr 6, 2019

I'm fluent in Russian, barely conversational in Spanish. Have an older brother who runs a RE investment shop in Germany so my fallback is working with him, so I'd have to pick up German. Interested in Mandarin Chinese but Idk if/when I'll start that.

One girl who I know from undergrad came to the U.S. from Poland - she grew up speaking Polish and is also fluent in Russian. Obviously learned English, but also picked up French and German. She interned for BAML Wealth Management in undergrad and then moved back to Europe (forgot which country specifically) and she now works for a private bank that manages billions for UHNW Russian clients.

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Apr 6, 2019
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