Language is part of one’s identity and culture. From a linguistics point of view, each of us has our language, called idiolect, which is part of who we are. On a larger scale, languages tell us a lot about the people that speak them.
I personally think that there is more to a language than just the ability to communicate with one another. There are bigger benefits: establishing deeper connections or getting a job in another country or simply watching a movie without subtitles.
The majority of my students want to learn Italian because they have an Italian partner or they have family from Italy and want to reconnect to their roots. They need to build a more genuine rapport with another person and the only way to do that is through learning Italian.
I decided to study foreign languages because I wanted to explore the world and learn about new cultures. For example, I chose Romanian as one of my subjects at University because I wanted to break the stereotype. I felt the need of exploring the language and the people to learn something new and I loved the whole experience.
Learning a foreign language is a mind-opening experience that goes beyond prejudice. Probably, the biggest benefit is the learning experience itself. It fulfils the need of being close to someone and enables a deeper understanding of each other.