There are so many benefits to learning a new language.
You’ll develop a brand new set of skills, immerse yourself in a different culture and discover a new way of thinking. Having more than one language on your CV is also very impressive to employers, and it can open up a world of opportunities for work, travel and leisure.
Nowadays, you can learn a language pretty much anywhere. You can study languages at college, undertake a modern languages degree at university, or study online with the help of popular websites and apps. But there is nothing better than studying a language in its country of origin. Here’s why you should always consider studying a foreign language abroad.
1. Meet new people
Moving abroad can be daunting. But when you study languages abroad, you’ll meet people from all over the world. There will be other language students in exactly the same position as you, and finding a group of friends to help you get to grips with the language is important.
2. Learn the local lingo
Studying overseas will open up a whole world of language that you can’t learn in a textbook. You’ll equip yourself with a different type of language – one that’s informal, chatty and full of common phrases and sayings. You’ll become a confident communicator, with a whole wealth of knowledge.
3. You’ll speak it every day
Practice makes perfect! When you study a language in the comfort of your home country, it’s easy to become lazy and put off practising. But abroad, you’ll have no choice but to speak it every day. This can seem scary, but it’s one of the best ways to get outside of your comfort zone and get talking to people.
4. Understand body language
People don’t just communicate with words. When you can see someone’s body language, it’s easier to take in what they’re saying. Languages like Italian for example, rely more heavily on gestures and facial expressions to communicate. This is important to understand if you want to communicate fluently with a new culture.
5. Immerse yourself in culture
Repeating phrases from a textbook can only get you so far. But getting out into the world and immersing yourself in a new culture will improve your conversational skills. Simple tasks like ordering food in a restaurant, asking for directions, buying a bus ticket or going to the cinema can suddenly become fascinating and exciting parts of life.
6. Boost your employability
If you’re looking to work abroad at some point in your life, give yourself a head start by studying abroad too. As an international student, you’ll gain a level of understanding about what it’s like to work and study in your chosen country. Having these customs and experiences can make you much more attractive to employers.
7. Learn to observe
Moving abroad might be scary to you, but you’ll gain skills that you never knew you had. For example, if you’re used to being the centre of attention, you’ll learn to sit back and observe. Overhearing conversations that other people are having – at university, in lectures or in the street – will open your eyes (and ears) to a new way of thinking.
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