Going to University is a daunting enough task as is. However, when you are on the other side of the world from everyone you know and love, everything seems a million times harder. Of course, it is important to attempt to learn the language of the country you have moved to for ease. Yet, soon enough the homesickness kicks in, and you want to be able to speak your own language. Here are just a few tips on finding someone in your new country that speaks your language:
Join a Language Class
“I don’t understand,” I hear you cry, “I thought this list was to help find people who speak my language. Why would I learn another one?”
Well, think about it. If you are studying in Italy and attend an ‘Italian for Beginners’ class, chances are there won’t be any Italians there. There is a chance, however, that there will be some people who speak the same language as you!
Your University will usually hold events for people of the same language to meet. I would definitely attend these events as it seems like the easiest way to meet people who speak your language. If your University does not seem to hold such events, contact them and ask why.
Join a Society
Whether it is a specific language (ie. Spanish Society) or a general International Students society, you are bound to meet someone. If your University does not have a society- make one! Contact them about how to do this.
Plus, if you set up the society yourself, you have more control over it (and it looks good on your CV/resume)
Teach your Language
If you are struggling to find people who speak your language, then hold a club or a class and teach other people! Not only will it help to ease any homesickness you may be feeling, but your students may be grateful for the opportunity to learn a new language.
This is a great opportunity to also teach them about your country’s culture and traditions, and perhaps get them to partake in them!
Seize every opportunity. Those people from your seminar who invited you out for drinks may know someone who knows someone who knows someone who speaks your language. Be a social butterfly, ask around, and get yourself out there.
All this being said, there is a possibility that you will not meet someone who speaks your language. Especially if your language is not widely spoken outside of your home country. Accept this, and work out what your next step will be.
Will you make a strong effort and learn a new language? Will you learn to enjoy your own company? It really is not the end of the world, and you will slowly pick up the language without really trying. Focus on your studies, have fun, maybe get a job, and make the most out of your time studying in this new and exciting place!
Enjoyed this article? Check out our recommendations for inspiring talks to watch if you’re studying languages.