Studying Abroad Doesn’t Mean You’ll Learn a New Language: Use These Tips to Learn How

| 08/01/2013 | 4 Comments

Each year, nearly 300,000 college students travel abroad in search of a rich learning expedition that includes exciting adventures, original experiences and for many, the promise of building their foreign language skills. Unfortunately, most students who choose to study internationally return with only a relatively minor improvement of their foreign language skills.

At first glance, one would think that being immersed into a foreign speaking culture for four months would force these new student transplants to adapt to their environment by engaging with residents through the native tongue, however, this typically isn’t the case for several primary reasons. First, most programs usually provide everything a student needs within reach on campus. Thus, there’s not really a compelling force requiring them to interact with the local citizenry. Second, study abroad students typically surround themselves with other students who are from their native countries; therefore, they continue speaking in their native tongue during their stay. Third, research has shown those who study abroad spend multiple hours each night conversing with friends and family back home through voice, text, and video chat.

So if you are bound for a study abroad program and desire to return flush with a solid grasp of another language, then please take note of the tips below.

Choose a Homestay. Homestays have proven to be much more beneficial for language development versus student roommates. For the most part, the host family won’t be able to speak your language fluently, requiring you to adapt to your new environment. Further, with a family, typically there is always someone around to practice the native language with. With a student roommate, you will be deprived of these fruitful opportunities.

Opt-Out of the Tourist Trips. Throughout your semester abroad, you will have the multiple opportunities to join a group trip organized by the university. Unfortunately, these trips are simply sight-seeing trips with zero to minimal interaction with the locals. Of course, they can be fun; however, you might want to consider recruiting a few of your fellow classmates and do a similar trip by yourselves. By necessity, this type of unguided trip will result in authentic engagement with the locals, requiring you to use the native language to navigate, communicate and socialize.

Volunteer for a Local Organization. Whether devoting your time to a non-profit organization or using your knowledge to help a company in an internship setting, your language skills can be significantly bolstered when you must speak the language in order to occupy the position. Although this may be intimidating, typically the people you will work with will have the ability to communicate in your native tongue. On the other side, the people you are serving will likely only speak in the foreign language you aspire to learn, creating another great opportunity to approach personal fluency.

Practice Before, During and After Your Trip. Like most high-level skills acquired in life, consistent practice is essential. If you’re pondering studying abroad, I would recommend you take at least one college-level language course before you depart. During your trip use every opportunity to develop your language skills. After your trip, if you want to retain your hard-earned language skills it is in your best interest to continue to use the language. This can take place via video or phone conversations with friends you have made in your host country, on campus international student groups, or even through providing tutoring services to high school students if you are proficient.

Justin Stephenson is a contributor for Collegeboxes, the largest college storage and shipping company in the United States.

Tags: , , ,

Category: study abroad, tips and tricks

Comments (4)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. myy says:

    thing: the decision is only the beginning of a thing. When a person makes a decision, in fact, he will go down in the body into a huge flood, the flood will take him to a decision at the time he never imagined a place “When I decided to go looking for I treasure, never imagined would be working in a crystal shop. “the boy thought for confirm his inference. Similarly, you can join the caravan is a decision I have made, but I will bring to the caravan where will always be a mystery in front of him, there are also Europeans read a book. This person indifference, when he came in he looked at him scornfully. They could have become good friends, that the Europeans can terminate the conversation the boy closed the book, he did not want to do anything that people think he and Europeans similar things. He took out his pocket the Urim and Thummim, people’s well-being, and give them a little more respect, a little more room, I believe that your friendly nature of the people will be able to exchange for a gentle fragrance. Man, to learn respectful and humble, with people, not easy to hurt anyone. A real meaning people, is never so self-righteous, seeking only their feelings in front of others abrupt aggressive, assertive and even blind head domineering! His cultivation will tell him what is appropriate retreat, brave moment, I can not be brave; courageous moderate, is a graceful, courageous if excessive, it appears arrogant.Life is like a station, gathering dispersed; yesterday, like a landscape, saw blurred; time is like a passing, remember the forgotten; life is like a funnel, has been He http://www.oakley– lost; friendship, like a banquet table, warm up the cold. And http://www.toms– love is a kind of helpless, the heart will be pain; heartbreak, evolved into an attitude, indulgence convergence; life is a calm, cried laughed.Life, sometimes need to precipitation, but also need experience. Have enough time to reflect, but also has enough experience to grow, so as to allow yourself to become more perfect, more wise, more mature indifferent charm. The face of things, when you are no longer eager to deny error, you first learned an important lesson. Man to dare to dare, can be beneficial to himself, but to detract from him! The best in life is a pure good heart, honest. Do more, we shall have less; not complain, often smiling; not greedy, understand contentment!Does not float is not dry, do not fight do not rob, do not care about flashy things, not to care despicable person! Never let yourself get lost in someone else’s words Fun Fun language, because no one can have a cute flower blooming invincible charm, it is not necessary because a person can easily change their word, insist on doing their own before It is unique!Through the years, there is always successful, there is always incomplete; ever desire, always burning, always in expansion; the original dream, always burst, always far away. I love hearts, always worried, always thinking about ……Life is a one-way trip to the car, the best thing to do is to treat yourself well, cherish today, looking forward to tomorrow. Those who walked, miss, have not come back; lost, and lost, are not complex ownership. So we do not go in a hurry, the love to Love; the left, and to retain good faith; to fully experience the feelings, to cherish the treasure. Under remember

  2. chenlina says:


  3. xiaojun says:

    20170606 junda

  4. qzz says:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The Educational Life Blog Directory - The internets fastest growing blog directory