Studying Language Abroad
Every year thousand of students pack their bags, leave their family and friends behind, and embark on new adventures in study abroad programs. If you find yourself questioning why this is so popular, it as simple as this, the experience is nothing short of amazing! What you gain from being entirely taken out of your element, in complete anonymity amongst a culture, country, and unaccustomed lifestyles; while initially alarming, allows for more self-discovery then seemingly possible. Studying language abroad allows for complete immersion not only into the culture but the actual language itself. Being exposed to your target language everyday, hearing it applied in real time situations, and experiencing the areas colloquialisms is not something that can be gained in a classroom. Learning a language abroad provides an environment where you are not only a student during a specific class for just an hour or so, you then take your skills to the streets. The time it takes for someone to pick up on new vocabulary, gestures and social queues, while abroad is exponentially faster. While you’re out there using your new skills on the streets, make some new friends whom you can practice the language with. Your new found friends will be able to not only help you to understand cultural differences, they can also give you great incite to parts of the language you’re questioning. Allow yourself to make mistakes and ask questions, this is the most crucial part in retaining all the new information you’re barraging your brain with. The next greatest thing you will encounter while studying abroad is experiencing and indulging in all the new cuisine you’ve only been able to read about thus far. Go to your nearest street corner and find the taco stand that everyone has been raving about, eat ceviche served to you on the beach from a little old lady that makes it fresh every morning, have a young coconut sold to you by a street vender with a little cart, who simply pulls out a machete lops of the top hands you a straw as you experience the intense hydrating experience that cannot be mimicked in a can. The single most gratifying event of the study abroad experience is being able to view a country a local’s perspective and appreciate it for all of its glory good and bad. You can go home not only having seen ever tourist attraction but with a new language!