10 Amazing Benefits Of Learning Spanish

The benefits of learning Spanish can be lifechanging

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With around 460-496 million native speakers on four continents, the benefits of learning Spanish speak for themselves. The language of Cervantes can unlock work and travel opportunities in Europe and across the Americas. Even without crossing borders, speaking Spanish confers significant advantages, from employment prospects to personal enrichment.

We’ve pulled them all together and sprinkled on morsels of data and fresh anecdotes that bring the 10 principal benefits of learning Spanish to life.

One of the key benefits of learning Spanish is the chance to live and work on 4 continents.

#1 Learn Spanish to live and work on 4 continents

Fresh beginnings abound in 20 Spanish-speaking countries, from Europe and Africa through the Caribbean and across the Americas.

Spanish speakers can pack their bags, get their passport stamped, and forge new paths in: 

  1. Argentina     
  2. Bolivia           
  3. Chile  
  4. Colombia      
  5. Costa Rica    
  6. Cuba  
  7. Dominican Republic          
  8. Ecuador        
  9. El Salvador   
  10. Equatorial Guinea (Africa’s only Spanish-speaking country)
  11. Guatemala   
  12. Honduras     
  13. Mexico         
  14. Nicaragua    
  15. Panama        
  16. Paraguay      
  17. Peru   
  18. Puerto Rico (US Territory)
  19. Spain 
  20. Uruguay       
  21. Venezuela

On the list are Spain and Mexico, immigration magnets where 14-15% of the population was born abroad.

Spain has long been a landing pad for EU passport holders and sunseekers. A mix of cultural vibrancy, sunny shores, and a sizzling food scene draws tourists and expats alike.

A high quality of life awaits in Spain if you can find work (high unemployment rates are a notable drawback). In 2023, Spain bagged the top three spots in a global league table of the best cities for expats: Malaga, Alicante, and Valencia. 

The benefits of learning Spanish are even more noticeable in Latin America.

Mexico is another landscape of gorgeous beaches, fiery cuisine, and a bountiful cultural heritage. Geography means an estimated 1.6 million US citizens call Mexico home. While Mexico City has emerged as a digital nomad magnet, towns along Baja California and the coastlines of Mexico are pulling in retirees looking to maximise their pension pot.  

Beneath Mexico is a bubbling patchwork of cities and towns all the way down to Cape Horn. Latin America appeals to the burgeoning numbers of digital nomads, thrifty retirees, and adventure-seekers realising the full benefits of learning Spanish.

If you plan a new life in the Americas, not all Spanish is the same. That’s why we offer Anki cards for learning Spanish and Latin American Spanish when you’re ready to start your language-learning journey.

#2 Retire in El Dorado

If you picture spending your twilight years on the beach, nursing your nest egg and health with a comparatively low cost of living and all the vitamin D a pensioner can handle, among the most attractive benefits of learning Spanish is the possibility of a comfortable retirement.

A recent CNBC survey ranked Spain the second best destination for American retirees in Europe, beaten only by its less-expensive Iberian neighbour, Portugal. It’s the same for sun-starved Brits, who named Spain their retirement destination numero uno.

Leading reasons include top-notch healthcare, safety, and low living costs. And a welcome lack of grey skies.

Meanwhile, the International Living Global Retirement Index names 6 Spanish-speaking countries in their top 10 expat destinations, from Colombia at #10 to the top 4 with Ecuador, Costa Rica, and Mexico (Portugal topped this one, too). Reduced living costs were a swing factor, underlining that the benefits of learning Spanish could stretch to a golden retirement.

Us Anki Flshcards for learning Spanish before exploring historic sites in Latin America

#3 Travel like a local in Spain and the Americas

You don’t need to dust off your Lonely Planets to know that many Spanish-speaking countries are dream travel destinations, from backpacker utopias to 5* pina colada havens.

Again, Spain and Mexico lead the way; both are in the world’s 10 most-visited countries. 

Stats are as variable as a tapas menu, but estimates suggest Spain pulls in a staggering 71 million annual visitors. It is often named the planet’s second hottest tourist destination.

Mexico is also a major tourist magnet. As is the USA, home to one of the world’s largest Spanish-speaking populations.

And there are countless towns and cities across Latin America to excite your wanderlust. Understanding the local lingo can transform a holiday into a travel odyssey if you like to wander off the beaten path. The benefits of learning Spanish reveal themselves at festivals in sleepy Spanish villages, trails in Costa Rican rainforests, the barrios of Buenos Aries, and wherever your travel instincts take you.

The benefits of learning Spanish includes the chance to study at LatAm universities like UNAM University in Mexico City.

#4 Learn Spanish to study in Spain or Latin America 

Rewrite your academic story with another of the great benefits of learning Spanish. Across 20 countries is an inspiring mix of universities and cultural opportunities.

None can match the galactic pull of American and British teaching institutions. But Spanish and Latin American universities are inexpensive; several are world-class seats of learning.

QS places 14 Spanish universities in their global top 500, plus 11 universities in Spanish-speaking Latin America, concentrated in Argentina, Chile, and Mexico.

If you think higher education should be more than lectures and essay deadlines, Spanish lessons can unlock exciting opportunities. Life lessons to accompany academic studies. And learning the language is a pretty valuable education in itself.

#5 Spanish is the preferred second language for English speakers

When it comes to second languages, English has devoured them all. An estimated 1.5 billion speak English, with only 450 million native speakers.

However, Spanish recently vaulted French in the USA and UK as the second language of choice with school and college students. You can hear the collective ooh la la from Paris. But you can understand how language needs are changing from a report by the British Council that named Spanish the most important language of the future for English speakers.

This is great news for casual students. One of the benefits of learning Spanish is that growing demand is mirrored by an expanding mountain of tools and resources. Spanish podcasts, video tutorials, Anki flashcards, language schools, online forums, and other tools mean studying Spanish has never been more accessible and convenient.

#6 Learning Spanish can help you pick up more Romance languages

An oft-cited benefit of mastering a second language is how it can ease you into learning more languages. Especially typologically similar languages; for Spanish, that includes other popular second languages like Portuguese and French.

Italian and Romanian are also closely related. And let’s not forget never-in-demand Esperanto, carefully constructed from French and Spanish.

Aside from the other compelling benefits of learning Spanish, if you want to take your first step on the road from bilingualism to European polyglot, this could be the language for you. Or as the two million Esperantists (we were amazed, too) would say: bonŝancon!

Learning Spanish or any language can improve your mind and wellbeing

#7 The benefits of learning Spanish include life-enriching rewards

The benefits of learning Spanish reach far beyond the pragmatic. In a separate post, we’ve written about the surprising psychological and personal benefits of learning a language. Our favourites include:

  • Memory boosts
  • Enhanced creativity
  • Improved academic performances
  • Slowed cognitive decline
  • Sharpened decision making
  • Build empathy

The psychological benefits of learning Spanish are backed by a growing body of research and observed across all languages, whether Esperanto or Swahili. When added to the other compelling benefits of learning Spanish, this language can change your life in ways that are almost impossible to measure.

#8 Boost your job prospects by learning Spanish

Not only can you retire abroad, but perhaps early as one of the unsung benefits of learning Spanish is that you can earn more.

In fact, evidence that any second language can boost income is supported by countless studies and worker surveys.

Few studies can agree on a bottom line, which varies by country and industry. But most agree that Spanish is the most lucrative second language, fuelled by rising use in the US and the sheer enormity and diversity of the Latin American market.

We’re not talking pesos and cents on your salary. One notable study claims a second language boosts pay by an average of 11%, but up to 32% for Spanish speakers. In short, learning Spanish is a potentially valuable investment in your future as multinational businesses increasingly prize this skill. 

Learn Spanish to enjoy the works of Cervantes and thousands of writers from Spain and the Americas

#9 Lift the lid on Hispanic culture and media 

An immediate payoff from learning Spanish is the means to dive into the kaleidoscopic galaxy of Hispanic music, film, and literature.

What bubbles to the surface in billboard charts and bestselling book lists is just a fraction of what lies beneath. It’s a world of Latin pop and the folksy lyricism of ranchera music, the literary genius of Carlos Fuentes and the poetry of Jorge Luis Borges. It’s a media tapestry rendered richer and more colourful in the original language.  

The benefits of learning Spanish to enjoy content have only grown in recent years, with an upsurge of interest in Spanish language cinema and TV, aided by Netflix jewels like La Casa de Papel and Oscar winners like Roma.

Listening with the ear of a Spanish speaker is undoubtedly the most immersive experience, with nothing lost in translation. Watching Spanish films and TV can be a great introduction to a new vocabulary. But once you hit fluency, you’ll recognise how much was lost with dodgy dubbing and mismatched subtitles. 

#10 Spanish is fast and fun to learn

Studying any language takes time and effort. But Spanish takes less than most. 

Among the leading benefits of learning Spanish is that you’re moving on to a typologically similar language, making it less intimidating to get started and quicker to reach fluency. Spanish shares linguistic roots with French, Italian, and other Romance languages from Vulgar Latin. This means it also has plenty in common with English, Frenchified in 1066.

Don’t take our word for it…distilling 70+ years of diplomat training, the US Department of State ranks Spanish a Category 1 language, the easiest group for English speakers. They predict 750 hours of study leads to proficiency. Only a handful of European languages take less time.

Conversely, you’ll need at least 2,200 class hours for “super-hard” languages like Japanese and Arabic. You could learn 3 European languages in that time!

You’ll have to take our word for it when we say Spanish is fun to learn. The US Department of State had no opinion on this.

For us and millions of others, plugging into the planet’s largest and most vibrant language-learning communities is one of the most attractive benefits of learning Spanish. It’s a growing community. By our unscientific calculation, that equates to a lot of fun. Especially when lined up with all the other benefits. Disfruta aprendiendo español!

If you are in two minds about which language is for you, hop to our post about the benefits of learning French and discover why the language of amour vies with Spanish for the hearts of language students.

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