Who could imagine that language schools rock? When I was in high school I did everything I could to get out of my French class. And I succeeded! I dropped my French class and took a mechanical drafting class, where I basically drew diagrams of nuts and bolts. I promised myself I would never study languages again.
It’s been a few years since then and I am now fluent or (highly) conversational in several foreign languages. Because I studied languages abroad and achieved a high level of language competency, I have been offered several jobs over the years, as well as having had the opportunity to participate in special projects and travel abroad for work – all that just because I speak a couple of foreign languages.
How do you end up scratching and clawing your way out of your high school French class, promising yourself you’ll never take another foreign langauge class and then end up speaking a bunch of foreign languages (including French!)? Easy answer – language schools abroad.
But not the type of local language schools you find near your house at home somewhere. These were language schools abroad in Medieval cities in Europe, on the Mediterranean sea, in the Black Forest in Southern Germany and in cities on Germany’s famous Rhine river, and in World Heritage Sites in Spain.
Each of the language schools abroad that I attended specialized in teaching to foreign students. And each school specifically taught the language of its country – German in Germany, Italian in Italy, Spanish in Spain, French in France….
I cannot tell you whether I speak several European languages because it was a deined goal I had, or whether I can speak them because the times I spent at language schools abroad were so much fun that I decided to repeat the study abroad experience a few times more. But let me tell you one thing I have learned from my experience abroad – and I’ll use a separate line to tell you:
Language schools… rock!
I know, it’s usually something truly “cool” that rocks. But what can I say? If language schools abroad rock…they rock! Why in the world do language schools abroad rock? Here’s my top ten list why language schools are cool:
1. You learn the language fast – much faster than language study at home.
2. Classes are … fun! (Yes – fun. And coming from me, the one who ditched the high school French class, that says a lot.)
3. You meet and live with people from all over the world — and you learn from them, too.
4. The day you get to…wherever…Madrid, Rome, Paris, Florence, Buenos Aires, Berlin, Hamburg…the day you get there, you start living there!
5. The schools arrange housing for you – and if you’ve ever looked for your own housing abroad, you know darn well how great it is when a language school abroad is willing to take care of the housing arrangements for you!
6. You get to speak whatever language you are learning all day. And you hear it all day too! So not only to you learn fast, you get that cool language ability that only comes with practice and being in the culture.
7. Understand America. Wanna learn more about the US (or whatever your home country is)? Live abroad. Seeing your own culture with your newly-gained international perspective is pretty awesome.
8. The language labs. I never liked language labs. To me they were one of the best reasons for not studying a language. But at a language school abroad the language lab is… at the beach…on the bus…at your favorites cafe…with your friends at the parties. It’s a kind of fast and furious language lab in a gentle sort of way.
9. Moving in international circles. As you spend time with other international students, you pick up on the cultural sensibilities found in other cultures and can more comfortably move around in international circles.
10. Affordability – language schools abroad are one of the most affordable means of language and cultural immersion abroad. And they can be a ton of fun!