Jul 09, 2020
Portrait of smiling male teacher and student in front of chalkboard holding hands

I’m a Bilingual Student. How Can I Use This Skill to My Advantage?

I’m about to start my second year in college, and I’ve reached a point where I have to start bringing in some kind of income. I’m bilingual, and I’m thinking that this skill, or asset, can help me earn some money while still staying on campus and focusing on my studies.

How can I use this skill to my advantage?

Being bilingual is certainly an advantage, and it’s one that can help you earn some extra income while you’re in college – both on and off campus.

There are several ways to use your skill, or asset, to your advantage.

One of the first things that comes to mind is translating documents. People pay between $30 and $125 per page to translate PDF  documents, depending on the type and the language. Usually, translators are paid on a per-word basis – typically $0.08 to $0.40 per word.

Your fellow students may not want to pay this high of a price for translation services, but if you’re willing to go off campus, you can advertise your services to locals. Your classmates may also have family members or other friends that need your services and would be willing to pay the going rate for translating services. Remember that this is a valuable skill, and you should be paid a comfortable rate for offering your services. And if you succeed, this venture could very well turn into a full-time job.

In order to translate documents, you’ll need to be proficient in writing as well as speaking the language. Some people are fluent in languages, but have never written a single word or sentence in that language. You’ll need both skills if you want to translate documents, and that’s why these individuals are paid more for these services.

Tutoring is another option. Many college students take language courses – most schools require it. And many students struggle in these classes. That’s where your skills can help. Offering tutoring in the languages you’re proficient in can help you earn some extra cash while helping others and keeping your skills in that language sharp.

Tutoring will also help you network with students and forge new friendships. If your services are successful, your clients (or students) will be more likely to recommend you to their friends.

You can also take your tutoring beyond the college campus by offering your services online. People who are serious about learning a language will be more than happy to pay you for your assistance. Some may even be willing to pay just to have a conversation with you in their target language. Those who are most serious about language learning are usually those who want to immigrate to another country or land a higher-paying job.

If you’re willing to work off-campus, a job as a customer service agent may be a good fit. Customer service operations are always looking to hire employees who can communicate in multiple languages – and they’re usually willing to pay more for them.

Companies in healthcare and marketing are also looking for bilingual employees who can communicate with their customers, and better understand their culture and customs.

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