Top 5 Reasons to Learn a Foreign Language Abroad
May 19, 2012 Study Abroad 2207 Views
"I speak English, so I don't have to learn a foreign language..."
If you have thought this more than twice then...welcome! You found the right article to read!
You share your language with approximately 480 million other people around the world. Still, this is just 7 percent of the world's population! There are 6,999 remaining languages after linguists that you've ignored so far. It will take time and effort to learn one of these foreign languages, but it will definitely be worth it as it will have a positive effect on your personal, social and even professional development. Even if English is not your mother tongue, you're still welcome as you will have even greater benefits by learning a second foreign language.
First of all, you probably already have an idea in mind where you would like to go and which language you would like to study. This is great! But then there's this feeling that you aren't 100% convinced yet because you don't know what to tell your parents and your friends and sometimes you even need to convince yourself. Don't worry that's normal, it's called your weaker self and I have it as well. So here comes the ultimate list to convince you to have a serious talk with the lazy person living inside of you:
1.) Experience a new culture by fully immersing yourself
By choosing to learn Spanish for example in Latin America instead of doing a course in your hometown you've already made the right choice regarding two important points. First, you will learn the language a lot faster in the country where it's spoken because you are constantly surrounded by it. Secondly, you will experience cultural differences such as traditions, foods and special customs by living in this place. Even though it is for a short time period you adapt to the daily life which allows you to get a more distinct point of view.
2.) Travel and see new places
Once you get out of your comfort zone you get excited, nervous sometimes even a bit scared and this is exactly what makes you develop personally. Only if we leave our comfort zone from time to time are we able to learn and develop. A new place, people you don't know and things you are not used to, will help you to broad your horizons. Without even mentioning all these beautiful places that you will discover on day or weekend trips during your stay abroad.
3.) Make new friends
When you arrive at the language school you chose to study at, there will be a bunch of other people from all over the world that are there for the exact same reason as you are. They all left their home countries in order to experience something new so it is super easy to get to know them. Staying in your hometown would mean that you would completely miss the opportunity to meet these people from all over the world.
4.) Gain a useful skill
Yes, it's true. Today every boss will tell you that it is important to speak a foreign language. Why? Because we live in a globalized world. If you want to make yourself more competitive in the labour market, language skills always help and open doors to job opportunities world-wide. Furthermore, leaving your home country and going abroad is a challenge in many ways. You will not only come back having learnt a foreign language but you will have also trained your memory, increased your self-discipline and have gained more confidence by interacting with others.
5.) Support the local community
The prices for language courses abroad are usually lower than taking classes in your home country and by studying abroad you help the local economy to grow. The school pays the taxes and the salaries of the local teachers and organizes day trips with local guides as well as offers family stays or other kinds of accommodation. This provides an added income for these families so even your stay even has a positive impact on others. With this tourist driven financial support many communities ensure their economic stability.
Whenever or wherever you want to go abroad, learning a foreign language will help you in many ways. If you want to travel a country it enables you to get in touch with the locals, if you want to read foreign literature in its original version it allows you to understand the linguistic niceties of the native language of the author (same thing for movies).
Sharing fun moments with the other students, seeing new places and getting out of your daily routine is a great and a unique experience that you should not miss out on!
Aside from Spanish courses in Spain and Latin America, do you know other places that are popular to learn a foreign language? What are the benefits that you consider when going to study abroad?