The main thing I have taken away from being a tutor is that the tutor-student relationship is reciprocal: each of my students has had something to teach me. I recently tutored a baseball player in Spanish and I discovered a lot of aspects of the game that I didn’t know before. I also became familiar with a lot of baseball terms that were new to me.
I have also been taking private Russian lessons and the experience is very rewarding. I have learned so much, not just about the Russian language, but also about its culture and customs. For instance, I didn't know that they celebrate Christmas on January 7th!
This brings me to the primary reason I enjoy studying and teaching a foreign language: the cultural exchange is invaluable. You can never know too much about a foreign country, and the more you know the less likely you are to experience “culture shock” when traveling abroad. I can’t imagine going to Mexico and not being able to speak the language. There is nothing like communicating with someone in his or her native tongue.