Over the past few weeks, we’ve shared with you how learning French can change your life: last week, we shared with you how speaking French can make you more money, how learning French can make you measurably smarter, and how it can help you get your dream job.
This week, we’re talking about how the steps you take to attain French proficiency and cultural immersion can make you more emotionally intelligent, and simply put, make you a better person! But what is emotional intelligence? Emotional intelligence is two-fold: it’s the ability to recognize your own emotions, understand them, and realize how they affect people around you. But it also has to do with your perception of others and how they feel too.
Some experts suggest that « EQ » may even be more important than IQ! Emotionally intelligent individuals are highly empathetic and more self-aware, are able to control their own impulses and motions and have stellar social skills. So how does one cultivate emotional intelligence and therefore, become a better person?
Learning another language through guided immersion encourages emotional intelligence, giving one the ability to step inside the mind and context of another culture and see from their perspective. Simply put, practice makes perfect. And the more you learn to see the world through the eyes of those in your host culture, the more you’ll be able to put that skill to practice in real-world situations, even with your peers or future colleagues once you’re back home.
See the World Through Another’s Eyes
Simply visiting a country is not sufficient – what cultivates emotional intelligence is seeing through the eyes of another. Language is a lens through which any given culture sees the world – and true understanding of a culture is extremely difficult without the ability to communicate in a native language. Learning a new language and using it to bridge the culture gap improves trust, encourages understanding, and fosters your capacities for cooperation, negotiation and compromise.
So what’s the moral of the story? Multilingual individuals who have learned to cultivate their intercultural competence and thus, emotional intelligence, are able to better cultivate relationships both abroad and at home. Emotionally intelligent people are the ones that others want to be around, and they make others feel good by taking into account people’s feelings and perspectives, making them better people, in more ways than one!
The only true voyage, would be not to visit new lands, but to see with other eyes, to see the universe through the eyes of another, a hundred others, to see the hundred universes taht each of them sees, that each of them is »
– Marcel Proust, Remembrance of Things Past, Vol 5
That’s all for this week, and for this series! We hope you enjoyed it! Want to get your best chance at French fluency? Apply now for a semester or year abroad with the AUCP!
The AUCP model is one of a kind – cultivating intercultural competence through guided experiential learning and immersion in different facets of French life and culture. AUCP students become part of the local community, and are continually pushed to see the world through the eyes of their French peers. These learnings are consolidated in the French Cultural Patterns course, where students share their real-life experiences. This core course in intercultural communication offers weekly mentoring and cultural information sessions, designed to accompany and enhance the students’ adaptation process. Grounded in theory and practice, the course encourages all students to develop the analytical, perceptual, and behavioral skills appropriate to the cross-cultural encounter.
To learn more about the AUCP Model, visit the Our Programs section of our website. To learn more about the different ways that AUCP students are immersed in their surroundings, visit the Immersion section of www.aucp.fr.