For a majority of students, change of location during studies can happen in case of three situations: during the vacation, relocating after the completion of a degree, and during an exchange study and travel programs. When it comes to relocation or exchange programs there are myriads of good options to choose from for every student. But not all of these options are suitable for everyone.
Why is that?
Very simple: besides English, French, Spanish or whatever your native language is, you might not know another language that is required for a program. For some of us, we had several chances to master the second language in high school. While some of us were able to grasp a few basics, most of us today don’t remember anything from what we learned. It is quite difficult for people to learn a foreign language in their home country, especially if the teacher’s fluency is questionable.
Another factor that probably influenced our poor knowledge of a second language is the fact that for every poor performance we usually had low grades. And for some reasons, language grades were always subject to public scrutiny, unlike Maths or History. Generally, when you have low grades in a subject, you barely speak about it for the fear to look ridiculous. Not to mention of speaking a language.
But guess what? The best way to learn a language is through constant practice, which in clear terms means speaking it, preferably with a native. This is where things get a bit tricky. You might not get an opportunity to always converse with a native, so a majority of the learning you probably will do by yourself. Chances are if you are someone who would want to settle down at home, you would never meet a native who speaks the language you are trying to learn. In this case, only a working travel opportunity would give you any chance at all.
Speaking of constant practice, there is another factor we have to consider: interest. If you are a student in a foreign country without strict restrictions, chances are that you will encounter more than one travel opportunity in the course of your studies. But if you have no interest in exploring your options, these opportunities will pass without you taking any action. As time goes by, these opportunities may become like a pay someone to write my essay – rare to find and somewhat unpredictable. Hence, you should polish your interest levels, and be prepared to seize opportunities as they come.
Getting to the chase
You are a student who wants to learn a second language, and you need to raise funds for the coming session? Working in a country that speaks the language you need to learn during the vacation period is the perfect option for you. There are a number of ‘work and travel’ agencies that can be reached online and in person. These agencies can assist you in planning your trip, plus accommodation and a job that would allow you to have spoken practice (e.g. waiter/waitress, storekeeper, hotel staff). There are a few things to remember when learning a foreign language:
- Learn the words first. This isn’t the time to focus on the structure of sentences or tenses; the idea is to learn the simplest words at first, like the control functions of a game. This involves simple phrases like ‘How are you?’, ‘How much is it?’, ‘What is your name?’ and so on.
- Communicate more with native speakers. People always hold their native tongues in high esteem, because it forms a major part of the identity they are proud to bear. The Russians, for instance, are very friendly with people who show interest in learning Russian and often go out of their way to help the person understand basics.
- Besides speaking with the locals, do some research on your own. There is a ton of videos to check out in that language, a ton of books to read and songs to listen. Music is especially very helpful. I can say this because I had a friend who once fell in love with Swahili and all she had done to learn it was watching YouTube videos. Within a month, she had a basic knowledge of the most common vocabulary. Plus, she even learned the tongue-clicking they use to pronounce certain words in the short periods of time.
Everything would, of course, boil down to determination, interest, and persistence. If you want it, you can achieve it. In addition, as you keep learning, you would end up finding what works best for you, and the learning process will become much simpler.
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