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Gail Leslie, Business Studies student

photo of Gail LeslieMy name is Gail Leslie and I initially completed HND Travel & Tourism at  the City of Glasgow College.

I am now about to start a degree in Business Studies at the University of the West of Scotland.

What sparked your interest in languages?

My parents took me on holiday and always encouraged me to speak to local people with basic phrases, such as ‘hello’, ‘please’ and ‘thank you’, I quickly realised the importance of communication in other languages not just English. I also learned French in P6 and P7 then went on to do Standard Grade. I regret not taking the language to a higher level, however, after school I started off doing a Modern Apprenticeship in childcare. I worked with a few children who were bilingual so I was keen to learn some basics in their languages to be able to communicate with them. One child was Chinese and spoke Mandarin, as soon as I started learn Chinese imagelearning it something clicked and really sparked my interest. In addition, I recently flew to Singapore for the weekend, where I attempted to speak very basic Chinese to a shop assistant, and seeing her face light up reinforced just how important language skills are.

Why did you choose to study languages as part of your course?

I studied French and Mandarin as part of my HND course and am just starting my degree in Business Studies at UWS. I feel that knowing other languages will open lots of doors for me and mean I can work across international markets, communicating with a variety of different people.

What message would you give to another young person who is considering learning a language as part of their studies?

Go for it! Languages are a great skill to have and it sets you apart from others when applying for jobs. Understanding another language and culture is a really important skill to have in the 21st century. Plus, they’re really fun to learn.

picture of travel iconsWhat are your future career aspirations?

I want to grow my own tour operator business which specialises in geological tourism. This niche market would feature in-bound and out-bound tourism bringing tourists to Scotland who are interested in the oceanology and geology of our country but also taking British people to places like Hawaii and Japan where they could experience. Language skills will not just enable me to reach out to a wider market but would also comfort and reassure the clients.

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