The opportunity to improve your language skills is just one of the many benefits of studying abroad.
It can take years to master another language, but studying abroad is one of the quickest and easiest ways to build your proficiency. You’ll be amazed at how rapidly you expand your vocabulary, sharpen your listening skills, nail a new accent, and get to grips with grammatical rules.
There are so many reasons to learn another language. It’ll enrich every aspect of your study abroad experience and help you settle into daily life beyond the classroom. Not to mention the array of international career opportunities it could open up after graduation.
As the age-old saying goes, confidence is key. Whether you’re a complete novice or consider yourself to be fluent, there is almost certainly some conversational slang you have yet to learn.
Only by being confident enough to talk to locals and brave enough to learn from your mistakes, can you be sure to learn something more.
Studying the language at home will give you a basic grounding in grammar, tenses, vocabulary, but you’ll only take your comprehension to the next level by immersing yourself in the day-to-day language of your host country.
Staying with a host family is one of the best ways to master a new language. They’ll speak in their native language around the house, so you’ll be forced to learn and converse along. It’s the ideal way to develop your skills in a safe and supportive environment.
If you are living in halls, try to make friends with native speakers. You will find friendships spark up just as easily abroad as they would at home.
Top tips to improve your language skills:
Read magazines: Magazines are a great place to start because they’re written in an easy-to-follow style. They’re also often about topics you’re already interested in, so you’ll have a general understanding of the subject area.
Research the country: When you’ve chosen where to study abroad, arrive with a basic knowledge of the country’s culture and history. As well as reducing the likelihood of experiencing a culture shock, this could help you make sense of conversations more easily.
Go out alone: If you let your friends do all the talking, your speaking and listening skills won’t improve. Visiting shops and cafés alone will accelerate your comprehension, and you’ll soon realize it’s not as scary as you first thought.
Go to a class or club: Although specific language classes are great, they’re not the only way to hone your skills. Joining sports teams, book clubs, or volunteering organizations are great ways to make the most of your overseas experience while improving your fluency.