Learning a language is a commitment. It takes years to become truly proficient, and even then there will be yet more to learn. (I'm still learning new words and cultural references in English, and I've been speaking it since I was in diapers.)
The pressures of modernity have resulted in many casualties. In this battle between the head and the heart, the language with international acceptability, the language of future and opportunities and the language required for basic survival in today's world is likely to win hands down.
Being fluent in Hindi, and having a basic understanding of Urdu, and Sanskrit, I have been able to bridge the gap quickly and efficiently. However, I do worry sometimes, if I will forget or get confused with all the languages I have now stored in my brain.
The United States is a long way from being the multi-lingual society that so many of our economic competitors are. Only about 10 percent of native-born Americans -- individuals who went through our education system -- speak a language other than English.
Heading somewhere far off means running smack into a spectrum of new sights, new sounds, new tastes. But along with these comes the inevitable oven-fresh batch of eye-rolling, mind-blowing, completely incomprehensible Mysteries of Travel.
The study of foreign languages is simply the gift that keeps on giving. It provides a person with multiple perspectives from which to view the world. It actually strengthens the mind. It allows a person to travel to other countries, which is also a great gift.
Although college is about learning, it's also about acquiring the necessary skills to land a job when you've graduated. World language skills have increasingly become a differentiator for hiring managers among graduates.