Belio, a public relations professor at the University of Florida, speaks English, Spanish and Portuguese. He was born in New York to a Dominican family, and, although he grew up listening to Spanish, he considers his first language to be English, as that is what he spoke everwhere, including home.
Belio said that for him, it wasn't difficult to learn Spanish nor Portuguese. He said because his entire family spoke Spanish, and because he was always listened to shows and music in Spanish, it was easy for him to understand and made it easier for him when he actually had to speak it. As far as Portueguese goes, he thinks his Spanish background has helped him. Although he admits that although he is good conversationally, he still struggles with understanding slang.
He says that being a multilingual individual has been absolutely helpful, as it has set him apart when competing for a position. He said that from personal experience, he has been able to conduct research in mass communications in Spanish, English and Portuguese. He has also been able to work as political consultant using all the languages he knows.
"Knowing a second language is one characteristic you should not neglect," Belio said."Because employers see as getting two for the price of one."
He said that based from his personal observations, "multilingualism is correlated with open-mindedness". According to him, knowing a foreign languages gives access to different types of situations and people and that it also helps build confidence.
In terms of knowing a foreign language, Belio said that the "broader your knowledge is, the fuller your life will be".