Language schools abroad rock – they really do!
Language schools abroad are nothing like the language schools you find at home, nor are they anything like a foreign language class at school.
Language schools abroad are in Medieval cities in Europe, on the Mediterranean, in the Black Forest in Southern Germany, in beautiful cities in Spain, in the hills of Tuscany – or in the center of Florence. They are in Tokyo, in Buenos Aires, in Central America, in South America and in a thousand exoctic and exciting locations. And they are part of a great study abroad experience.
I studied in language schools in Germany, Spain, Italy and France over the years. Here’s my top ten list why language schools are cool:
1. You learn the language fast – much faster than language study at home. Have a look at this article to see how learning a foreign language when you study abroad can help you.
2. Classes are … fun! Think about it – you’re in the middle of Florence, or Salamanca, or Alicante, or Berlin, you meet people from all over the world, you have plenty of free time to visit sights, you mingle with all sorts of interesting people in the language school, breaks between classes are an opporutnity to step outside and be immersed in Italian culture, German culture, Spanish culture, what have you.
3. You meet and live with people from all over the world — and you learn from them, too. It’s an opportunity to practice the foreign language you are learning and also a valuable opportunity to further develop a degree of cultural competency.
4. The day you get to…wherever…Madrid, Rome, Paris, Florence, Buenos Aires, Berlin, Hamburg…the day you get there, you start living there!
5. The schools arrange housing for you – and if you’ve ever looked for your own housing abroad, you know how great it is when a language school abroad takes care of the housing arrangements for you! You will also most likely live with other students from the school and that helps to create a sense of community and friends – so you won’t feel alone.
6. You have the chance to speak a foreign language all day…every day. And you hear it all day too! So not only to you learn fast, you get that cool language ability that only comes with practice and being in the culture. (You also avoid speaking English all the time, as often happens with US study abroad groups.)
7. You learn more about your home country. Wanna learn more about the US (or whatever your home country is)? Live abroad. Being able to see your own culture from an outside point of view is pretty awesome.
8. You have the best language lab you will ever have! The beach in Spain, a café in Berlin, a town square in Salamanca or Madrid, the rural country side of Nicaragua, the busy streets of Santiago or Buenos Aires – wherever you are turns into a 24-hour language lab. It’s way more exciting than the language lab at your home college or university!
9. You develop cultural competency. As you spend time with other international students, you pick up on the cultural sensibilities found in other cultures and learn to be conscious of and sensitive to them. In essence, you learn to deal positively and effectively with people from other cultures.
10. Affordability. I saved the best for last. Language schools abroad are the most affordable study abroad option. They have qualified, university-educated teachers and effective programs. In addition, their progrmas often include other courses, such as history and art history courses, literature and culture courses, and so on.
Those are my top ten reasons why language schools rock. There are many other advantages to language schools abroad, however: They offer flexible start dates, they are responsive to student needs (it’s like having a on-site director for a study abroad program), they organize activities, and they offer a much cozier environment than universities abroad.
Language schools are also found in many cities in countries throughout the world where there are no university programs and normally offer more affordable housing. That means more choices and more savings for you!