4 Reasons to Learn Another Language Abroad
Learning another language abroad is one of the best things you can do for yourself. To be honest, the place or the language is far less important than the act of going abroad and learning to speak like the locals. Whether you’re learning Icelandic in Iceland or German in Austria, you’re doing something good for yourself. After spending the better part of the last two years abroad, I believe I have a good understanding of why everyone should consider learning another language abroad.
4 – The Challenge
There is little in life more challenging than learning a second language. English speaking countries don´t have the same need to speak another language because most of the world´s business and tourism uses English as a medium for relaying information. It´s not easy to learn another language, especially when there is little emphasis is placed on it at a young age. However, the struggle makes your stronger. If you go abroad to a non English speaking country to study, you will learn out of necessity. You will have no choice other than to improve your language skills and adapt. Immersion is a good way to learn a second language and an important life lesson.
3 – Form New Relationships
While much of the world does speak English, there are still tons of people in every country who do not know any English past a simple ¨hello¨. Wherever you choose to study abroad, you will meet people who do not know any English. I would suggest not viewing it so much as a language challenge, but more like a connection that you wouldn´t have without any knowledge of a second language. In my time abroad, I have made many friends who don´t know enough English to have a basic conversation. In a way, these relationships are special to me because I know they couldn´t exist without my knowledge of Spanish. Learning any new language is going to lead to the forming of these kinds of relationships.
2 – Understand the ESL (English as a Second Language) Struggle For Others
Most of the people in this world who speak English are not native speakers. In fact, very few people who are not millennials in other countries probably learned English at a later point in life; it wasn´t until fairly recently that emphasis was put at learning English at a young age. Learning a second language definitely helps with developing empathy for this challenge that others face every day. I can personally say that I have much more admiration for anyone who can speak English despite not being a native speaker. I understand the difficulties they face and admire them greatly.
1 – True Cultural Immersion
Simply put, the whole world is not a single country and the whole world does not speak English. Learning every language in the world is impossible, but truly experiencing the culture and language of a foreign land is one of the best things that you can do for yourself. I believe that true cultural immersion requires the learning of whatever language is spoken wherever you are.
The point of this post is to encourage studying abroad and learning another language in any country. The challenge is difficult, but forming new relationships and genuinely experiencing a new culture is one of the most rewarding and satisfying things you can do for yourself. Personally, I have a soft spot for studying in Spain which began with an amazing experience provided by Centro Mundolengua. Here, we offer a ton of great programs for both groups and individuals which can be tailored to fit your needs. We hope we can provide you with a great study abroad experience that you will remember forever.