If you would like to benefit from your trip abroad more than one way and want to improve your language skills while enjoying the experience, there are several great and proven ways of picking up the language while abroad. While tourists from English speaking countries have the luxury of being understood almost anywhere, it is also a disadvantage when it comes to learning a new language. To make the most out of the learning opportunities, you will sometimes have to step out of your comfort zone and make an effort. However, once you have overcome your fears and challenges, you will have gained a skill for life, being able to communicate in another language. Interested? Read on to find some tips on getting started.
You might be an introvert and not feel comfortable asking people until you have built up a certain level of language skills, and this is fine. There are plenty of language learning apps available that will teach you the basics for free. Before you embark on the journey, you should complete a couple of beginner lessons, so you can at least greet people in their own language or order food. If you make an effort when you meet the locals, they will be more likely to help you and teach you more.
Local Language Lessons
Of course, you can also find a local language school for tourists and visitors to the country. You shouldn’t hesitate to check out the short courses offered in the local college, as you can meet other people from all over the world, pick up some local tips and cultural background, while being able to speak and read the language, which can come useful if you have to visit an office or try to sort out your travel card, visa, or banking. If you’re good with languages, you could even become a tutor, teaching children Chinese or French!
Of course, to speak like the locals, you will have to learn from them. If you are an outgoing person, you can engage in a conversation with people in a restaurant or at a coffee house, and get insider tips on where to go, what to eat, which shows are worth checking out, and what locals’ attitude towards foreigners is. You can also make friends by joining local clubs if you are planning to stay longer in the country. They will take you to places you haven’t been before, talk to you in the local language, and explain what different names mean.
Staying Out of the Tourist Area
If you want to avoid making a mistake when planning your long term vacation, do yourself a favor and stay away from tourist districts and hotels. You are not likely to hear the local language there or make friends who can teach you new words. Instead, you could get an accommodation in the residential district or at an AirBnB accommodation, so you can live like locals. Check out https://www.glamourapartments.com to find out how you can get to know the lifestyle and culture as well as the language in a short period of time by staying in a residential area.
To increase your opportunities to use the language and practice your vocabulary, you can even sign up to volunteer at a local organization. There are plenty of charities recruiting people from abroad, and if you are just having a gap year or a career break, this can be a great opportunity for you to pick up new skills and a new language while seeing the world. Some organizations will even pay for your language lessons and training, as well as your food and accommodation, and you will still have plenty of free time to explore the area after doing your job.
Enrolling for a College Course
Of course, if you want to learn more than the local language, and have a couple of months, you could enroll in a college course as well. Check the entry requirements for colleges abroad and choose an area that interests you. Make sure that the course is accredited internationally, so you can benefit from your new skills after you return home. Some organizations will even provide you with a free language course before you start your training to help you make the most out of the learning opportunities provided.
Just like volunteering, getting a work experience will help you learn the basic conversations, culture, customs, and encourage you to use the skills every day. If your current employer has an opportunity to place you abroad, you should grab it with both hands. However, if there is no such chance, you can plan your trip to your dream destination and start at the bottom. This will keep you going and improve your language, so you can move up the career ladder over time and gain new skills while you are abroad. You can find apprenticeships abroad that don’t require more than basic language skills or paid positions that will help you cover the cost of your travels.
Watching Loads of TV and Listening to the Radio
A great way of picking up the phrases and the words that are not included in your dictionary and online language course is making it a daily routine to watch the news and listen to the radio. You will not only learn new words and improve your language comprehension, but also better your accent over time. Instead of focusing on the fictional scenarios that you learn during your courses, you will get to listen to real conversations and current issues. Chat shows will help you understand local accents and colloquialisms, too.
If you have been dreaming about visiting a country, you might make the most out of the time you are spending abroad and return with a new language and plenty of new skills. Stay away from tourist areas, try to engage with locals. Take on a volunteering position, apprenticeship, job, or language course, and make yourself more valuable on the job market while enjoying your adventure.