10 reasons why it is beneficial to learn languages abroad
Going on a language study trip can have many various reasons. Whether you want to learn a new language, improve your school English, or simply enjoy the best time of your life.
We’ve put together a few of the top facts about why such a trip can be enriching for you too.
1. Explore a new country
Many students use a language study trip to get to know a new country. Some of them travel alone for the first time and discover the destination on their own. The new country gives them an exciting insight into its culture and values.
The choice of possible destinations and course locations is vast – whether you prefer to call a major city like New York, an exotic destination like Singapore, Tokyo, or Cape Town, or a seaside island like Malta or Hawaii your temporary home.
On some trips, you can also combine two or more cities to discover even more countries. If you don’t feel confident enough to travel alone, you can join a group language trip and share many unique moments with others. Either way, you will also meet many people for joint activities without a fixed group once you’re there.
2. Learn a (new) language
Most language students decide for language travels to improve their English. Either to improve their grade at school, to prepare for a study abroad or a job, or simply because they enjoy learning the language.
Besides English, you can also learn many other languages nowadays, such as French, Spanish, Italian, Korean, or even Chinese. Even those who do not have academic goals as a primary reason for their decision, benefit enormously from the new language skills – it’s much easier to get to know exciting people and expand your network on vacation than at home and language always opens the door to the culture and history of a country as well as mindset and value set of its people.
It is best to learn a language where it is spoken so that you can be surrounded by the language in everyday situations and directly apply what you have just learned.
3. Certificates for your CV
Many language schools offer language certificates at the end of your stay to confirm the level you have reached. In addition, you can book a trip that prepares you intensively for a certificate that you might need for your school, university, or job.
Official language certificates include TOEFL/IELTS (English), Cambridge (English), DELE (Spanish), or DELF/DALF (French). Certificates make your resume stand out. In addition, many universities abroad require such certificates as a prerequisite for admission.
4. Promote your self-confidence & independence
Even though you will always be supported by your language travel provider or even your local host family, you will have to master your everyday life by yourself. You’ll have to manage to find your way around in your new home country and communicate with people in a different language. But don’t be afraid, traveling alone also has a lot of advantages! You determine your own day. No parents (or partners or children) tell you when to get up or go to bed.
If you feel like a crepe, you just buy it! If you want to join the excursion to the nearby island, go for it! By going on your own, you will boost your self-confidence and independence and be proud of what you’ve accomplished. Just give it a try and you will return from your trip as a whole new person!
5. Meet new friends
During your time abroad you will meet many new people who are just as interested in languages and crazy about traveling as you are. So, you already share a passion and, moreover, you are all in the same situation: you are strangers in a new country, nervous and excited to meet new people and explore your new home.
Since all language students feel the same way and you will automatically get together with others through the assigned study groups, you will quickly make great friends. Although you will only spend a limited amount of time together, it will be even more intense.
Many friendships last beyond the time you spend together abroad. So, you will always have friends in other regions of Germany and in other countries that you can visit on your next trip.
6. Professional and personal development
Improved language skills are beneficial in every stage of your life: When looking for a job, you can impress your potential employers by stating your language skills in your application, at university important foreign research texts are no longer an obstacle for you, when traveling you understand what you actually ordered at a restaurant and when you have to communicate with colleagues from abroad at work, you are perfectly prepared.
The more languages you know, the easier it will be for you to explore the world and the better your chances for an international career. English, the world’s number one language, is a must these days; speaking Spanish, Chinese or Arabic is an absolute plus.
7. Study in a pleasant environment
The most important thing in learning is motivation. If this is missing, you can’t expect much learning success. As traditional language classes at school or university are often associated with duty rather than fun, many learners find it very difficult and perceive language learning as torture rather than a wonderful opportunity.
A language study trip, on the other hand, offers a pleasant atmosphere that will also make learning fun. How? Such a trip is much more than just teaching, as it combines learning sessions and vacation.
Most of these trips take place in places that are dream destinations. Being in class in the morning, surfing in the afternoon, and making new friends applying your newly learned vocabulary over a cocktail in a bar in the evening in Hawaii is a much more pleasant environment than at home, isn’t it? A language is best learned where it is spoken and when you have fun!
8. Expand your horizons
Spending time in a foreign country is much more than “just” learning a language or “just” traveling. It is also about really getting to know and understanding the host country and its people. Living with a host family is a great opportunity to do so.
Through contact with the local family, local teachers, and the content in class, students learn about the infrastructure in their host country and realize that things they take for granted in their home country are not a given.
For example, health insurance and social welfare systems are different everywhere, buses may not have reliable schedules you’re used to at home, and traffic lights are only decorative. Supermarkets don’t sell the food you know, but they offer many alternatives that seem exotic at first, but which you grow to love during your time abroad.
Many students see their home country from a completely different perspective when they return from their trip which gives them a much better ability to also start seeing events in the world from various perspectives. An Arab proverb says “He who lives sees much. He who travels sees more.”
9. Discover yourself
Spending some time abroad is often a very personal journey. Letting go of familiar everyday life leads many solo travelers to rediscover themselves. Being in a different environment, experiencing a new culture, and being exposed to different worldviews causes many travelers to question how much of their character has been predetermined by the society that surrounds them.
Getting to know more of the world allows you to actively find out who you really are and what culture or lifestyle best suits you. A trip is much more than just a vacation, but also a journey to your inner self. Maybe you will find out new qualities of your character or realize that you show certain behavior only because someone expects you to.
10. Enjoy life
Whether it’s for two weeks or eleven months, enjoy life and have fun! Meet new friends, experience beautiful landscape, try new sports or relax with a cocktail by the pool. No matter what activities you focus on during your trip you’ll have unforgettable moments and unique experiences that no one can take away from you.
Of course, you will experience situations that you might have imagined differently beforehand, but a little bit of uncertainty is what makes life exciting and mastering unfamiliar situations will leave you strong and proud. If you are open and sympathetic to others, they will treat you the same way. Don’t hesitate any longer, book your trip now to fulfill your dream of studying and living abroad.
Which organization is the right one for a language trip?
Now you really feel like going on a language trip, but don’t know which organization is the right one for you? There are many different providers and some aspects you can pay attention to to choose the one that suits you best.
Make sure that the provider guarantees to set up different learning groups depending on the language level and to test your knowledge before you start your trip so that you are placed in a group with other learners of the same language level. Likewise, if you wish, you can make sure that there are different programs according to age group so that you are in a course with people of the same age as far as possible. Confirm that you will be taught at the language school by well-trained native speakers to make sure that you will be taught 100% correct language and ideally even catch up with their original accent. Since it is especially helpful to receive support in your native language before you start your trip or at the beginning, when you do not yet have a very good command of the language, you can specifically choose an organization that has an office in your home country so you can speak to or even meet with an advisor in your native language.
Many providers are only agents, but some organizations operate their own language schools abroad – with these ones you get the entire service from a single source and they can respond to your needs in a much more flexible and more efficient way. One way to help you decide is to see if the language schools are certified and accredited by official language learning associations and if they offer preparation and testing for official language certificates such as TOEFL or IELTS if you wish. Finally, the type of accommodation you want plays an important role. Decide whether you would prefer to live with a local host family, on campus, in a residence, or even find your own accommodation and live independently and see what options each organization offers.
Basically, you can probably say: The more countries, course locations, languages and accommodation types are offered and if the organization runs its own schools, it will be more flexibly if there should ever be problems or if rebookings have to take place, as one has seen in Corona times. Check out the leading provider EF Education First and book your language trip to your dream destination.
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