Commonly regarded by anthropologists and historians as the birthplace of mankind, Africa is a land of ancient beauty and intense contradictions. Its cultures have remained distinct despite the smoothing effects of time and, as a result, Africa has become one of the most diverse and culturally rich continents on earth. Nowhere is this diversity more exemplified than by its broad linguistic tradition, which spans over 2500 languages in only 55 countries. Although having to choose from so many languages may seem daunting, choosing one to learn from an area that interests you can be extremely rewarding. It can allow you to delve more deeply into the people and culture with whom and in which you will be studying.
There are many benefits of acquiring fluency in the Swahili language. One os that of total immersion; you not only become immersed in the language, but also in Kenyan culture. Endowed with lots of natural beauty and fascinating cities with thousands of years of history, Kenya is a country whose culture and language are well worth studying. Initial language learning opens up more opportunities to explore the literature, music, art, dance, sports, etc. of Kenya.
In Kenya, you will be able to use and practice Swahili and English every day; you will interact with native speakers at every turn. Even a simple task like going to the market becomes a learning experience. You pick-up subtleties, authentic accents and pronunciation, jokes, stories, and local phrases you never would have learned from simply being in a classroom. Most of the time, you find you are learning new things without even trying; simply being surrounded by Swahili all day and night as an alternative language helps you absorb more than you think.
The ability to speak an African language and gain a deeper insight into Kenyan culture by studying abroad in Kenya will enhance a student’s resume for future academic and professional endeavors. Total immersion also makes you more marketable in the job world, even on an international level. After learning an African language, you have a unique advantage—an edge—above other job candidates since you have broadened your communication skills beyond just the English-speaking world.