Tips For Studying Abroad In Another Language
Gaining a degree or passing a course can be difficult, and if you are looking for a challenge you can make the experience even harder by going to study in a foreign speaking country.
Trying to pass a course and having to speak, write and listen in a foreign language can be daunting and would put a lot of people off from applying. But if you are outgoing, and are keen for rewarding feeling of actually achieving this goal, then this could be the experience of your life.
Or if the idea of doing this scares you, don't panic as there are lots of ways to make the whole experience easier.
In this article we share our top tips for international students planning to studying abroad in a different language and how you can boost your chances of successfully passing a course.
Even if you are going to study abroad on a course in English, these tips will help you to improve and learn a new language whilst studying abroad.
Why Study in a Foreign Language
Here are some top reasons why you should study abroad:
- Improve your learning
- Biggest cultural experience of your life
- The challenge of your life
- Become fluent in a different language
- Experience living abroad
- Make new friends
- Boost career prospects - this will look fantastic to future employers
20 Tips For Learning a New Language & Passing a Course Abroad
These recommendations should help you improve your language skills and pass your course:
1. Download a Language App
There are so many amazing apps you can use to improve your learning and most are completely free. Popular apps include Duolingo and Memorize - both have structured lessons and activities to enhance your learning. Benefits include you can learn while on the move and be as productive as possible with your time.
2. Choose Your Course & Destination Carefully
Make sure you are doing a course you enjoy, the chances are if it stimulates you, you will stand a better chance of passing. There are so many study abroad programs available, be sure to research all and take your time in making a final decision. The same with your destination, think about if you will be actually happy living there. View our guide to top rated study abroad destinations if you need some inspiration.
3. Visit the University in Advance
Most universities have taster days and pre-courses where you can learn more about the university, course and lifestyle. This is a great opportunity to chat with lectures and staff and find out as much as possible.
4. Book a Language Course
Either before departing or on arrival, make sure you take language classes. This can be the quickest way to learn and the sooner you do it the better. Learning with a professional teacher can really help improve your written, speaking and listening skills whilst if you take group classes you will also get to make friends and practise. You can find language courses around the world or online.
5. Choose a Homestay
When studying abroad there are lots of accommodation options. We recommend choosing to stay with a homestay family, this way you will get the chance to converse with them everyday. They can also be a great help with your studies.
6. Get Financial Help
The cost of studying abroad can be expensive but lots of companies and institutions offer finial assistance. If you research in advance you can choose from the best study abroad scholarships and grants which if accepted will provide money towards language classes and funding the whole experience.
7. Plan Ahead
It is difficult to combine studies and normal life regardless of your location. However, everything can be make easier with proper planning. You need to plan for classes, timeframes, deadlines and holidays.
Knowing when your deadline are for submitting assignments and other important dates for your studies will really improve your organisation and help you to pass.
Don’t forget to check and update your schedule daily, and always ensure you are in line with all upcoming due dates and events you consider important.
8. Set Goals
It is always important set targets and learning objectives. Try to learn simple key phrases everyday, even if not a huge amount. Over a week you will really improve your knowledge.
9. Make a Schedule
Schedules are great to give you some structure when studying abroad, and the important thing to do now is to stick to it. By having some structure you can dedicate time to studying and having fun. You can always leave time in your schedule for unplanned activities as that’s a good thing to do.
10. Be Social
Settling into a new home in a foreign country can be a daunting experience and the easy thing to do is to make friends with other English speaking natives. There is nothing wrong with this, but try to be outgoing and make as many friends as possible with people who speak the language you need to improve. By living abroad you will be surrounded by people speaking the language you need to know. Make use of this and practise every day.
11. Get Involved in Discussions
Classes are one of the best ways for you to really understand what you need to do. Engage with tutors and always ask questions if you need help or advice. Don't be afraid of looking stupid or for making classes go slow, you passing the course is most important and other students will understand.
12. Record Lectures
Lectures are usually really quick and the changes are you will not have time to understand everything you need. There is always the option to record lectures on your phone, tablet, computer or gadget - this will help you later if you forgot something.
13. Be Honest With Teachers
Honesty is always important, which is why you should tell your teachers if you need help or are struggling. They will be understandable and try to help you to improve. As long as you are putting in maximum effort and show the desire to improve, it shouldn’t be a problem to negotiate a college-friendly working environment and healthy relationship with your teachers.
14. Utilse Media
Be active, read newspapers, magazines, listen to radio, browse websites and watch tv.
15. Use Websites
If you are really struggling with essays and coursework then you might want to consider getting help online. There are lots of websites offering a essay writer services helping students around the world to pass modules. You can also find YouTube videos with helpful tips or general websites offering language and study tips.
16. Find Time to Sleep and Relax
While you can go the extra mile for a day or two, it is impossible to endure a long time without relaxing and resting well. That is why you should consider these two during your weekly schedule. Make sure that you have enough time for good night sleep. According to studies, the optimal sleep duration is from seven to eight hours every night. Being well rested will make sure you can focus more in the day which can help especially when speaking in a foreign language.
Get involved in with your local community, working or volunteering is great for mental health and it is also another way to make friends and practise your language skills.
One of the ways to make the most out of studying abroad is going to explore new places. Although you will need to focus on your studies, you also need to enjoy yourself and seeing destinations in your spare time is one of the top ways to do this.
19. Don't Be Afraid
It can be scary to talk to a native speaker, especially when you are first starting out, but don't worry too much about making mistakes. Practise is the best way to learn.
20. Study in English
Okay, this is kind of cheating, but there are lots of English language courses in foreign speaking countries around the world. Although this won't be as big a challenge as actually studying in the destination language, you could learn the local lingo in your spare time and still enjoy a cultural experience like no other.
There are so many benefits of studying abroad, this can really be a magical experience. Hopefully these tips will put your mind at ease a little if you are daunted by the idea of actually going to study in a different language.