Study Languages Abroad
by Waller Jamison
One of the best ways in which you can master foreign
languages, is to study languages abroad, in one of the countries where the language is spoken as the native
So you might choose to learn French in France or Canada or to
study Spanish in Spain or in Latin America. Or if you are more adventurous, you might decide to learn Chinese in
China or Japanese in Japan.
If you enjoy travel, why not combine your adventures with learning the local
language? This will enable you to develop a much richer understanding of both the language and the culture and it
will be fun!
Gaining a thorough knowledge of a foreign language will
increase your prospects in your careeer and, believe it or not, it's good for your health, as keeping your brain
active after you leave college is one way to ward off Alzheimers.
Once you have made the decision to learn a language overseas,
you need to decide which one and then to find the programme most suited to your needs.
Your choice of language will depend on what you hope to do
with the language later. do you want to learn French because you hope to buy a holiday home in France, or do you
want to learn Spanish because you planning to retire to Spain?
Or perhaps you want to work in international business and
Chinese seems to be a good choice because of the growth in the Chinese economy.
Whatever your choice, it would be a good idea to try the
language out first, either by attending a class or using one of the many online resources available. This is
particularly important with the more difficult languages like Chinese, which is very different from European
languages, with a complex system of written characters, sounds which differ greatly from those made in European
languages and a grammar which is not at all like our own.
Once you've chosen your language and gained a little
experience with it, you should then look for a good school in the area you'd like to visit. Do an online search for
example "study French in France" or "Spanish courses in Spain" and then compare what is on offer. Do you want to do
an intensive course, totally immersing yourself in the language for a month or more?
If so, you'll want one to one instruction or very small
classes and the opportunity to live with a local person or family. Many people enjoy the extra income from foreign
students, but you want to make sure that they will also take the time to talk to you in their native
Other courses are less intensive and offer the opportunity to
go on organized trips, so that you can see a bit of the country. And some will provide lessons in the mornings and
give you the afternoons free so that you can do whatever you like, which is good if you want to take part in sports
or prefer to sightsee alone.
There are many different methods used for language study and
so you will need to make sure that the course you choose will work well for your individual learning style. Once
you've read some brochures, ask as many questions as you need to, to make sure the course is right for
Studying abroad is an excellent way of learning a language,
but it isn't cheap and you must choose wisely.