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Foreign no more

delhi Updated: Mar 18, 2011 23:25 IST
HT Correspondent

We start with one of India's top varsities, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). If learning foreign languages and understanding different cultures is what interests you, then head to JNU, which offers BA (Honours) in nine foreign languages in its School of Language and Literature.

From learning the basics of a language to in-depth study of the history, geography and literature of a country, these courses offer it all.

Abhijeet Karkun, who teaches French, said Indians are naturally multilingual and hence learning a foreign language comes easy to them.

"Each one of us knows at least two to three languages. So it is not difficult for students to pick up another language," he said.

Over the years, language courses have grown in popularity.

"Earlier, one would go into teaching or at the most secure a job in a ministry. But today, there are a lot of lucrative opportunities with huge demand for foreign languages in fields like tourism and IT," said Sabaree Mitra, who teaches Chinese.

Teachers also said that besides job opportunities, there has been another emerging phenomenon known as combination studies.

Students who do graduation in a foreign language often go to the country of their origin to pursue higher studies as the cost of studies in countries like France, Spain, Germany and Russia is quite lower than the UK and the US.

Curiosity about Spanish art and culture drew Kritika Sheth to pursue Spanish in JNU.

"I was always drawn to the country culture. Only later did I realise the vast employment opportunities this course leads to," said the second-year student.