Studying abroad is both exciting and challenging. While living in a foreign culture can be a worthwhile experience, the process that comes with it can also be tiring. Like other hurdles, the language barrier prevents many individuals from conversing, making friends, and exploring things in another country. Moreover, regarding studying abroad, learning the local language is highly essential. If you’re planning to attend a foreign school, the following eight tips will help significantly.
1. Take up a language course
One of the most effective ways to learn a language is by taking up a proper course. Typically, instructors organize these courses in increasing difficulties so students won’t have trouble starting and learning well at the end.
Before studying abroad, it’s best to enroll either in an online or a classroom-based language course. While completing a course is ideal, reaching at least the intermediate level can work most of the time.
2. Purchase a language guidebook
If enrolling in a course is too expensive or there isn’t enough time left, buying a language learning book isn’t a bad option. Aside from a fully-fledged language guide, there are also bite-sized books that cover the basics.
Shortened language books provide an easy way to learn the most common words and phrases that helps in day-to-day interactions. Besides, one can bring this literature type anywhere, making it an excellent language guide.
3. Download a dictionary app
Since a smartphone can run almost any app, why not use it as a portable language guide? Apart from social media and games, most phones can now download language dictionaries or reference apps.
When traveling, especially studying abroad, an offline app like Dict Box is ideal for using anywhere and whenever one needs it. Thankfully, one can easily find a universal or dedicated language dictionary program with only a simple search in the iOS and Android app stores.
4. Make friends with native speakers
After learning a few phrases or so, it’s now time to test and use them in actual conversations. Moreover, while asking a person into a discussion can sometimes work, making foreign friends and spending time with them is still the best way. By doing so, one can comfortably talk about anything without shyness or hesitation, thus speaking a particular dialect more.
When making new foreign friends, it’s sometimes challenging to contact them after the initial interactions. In this case, a reverse number lookup and email lookup tool like Spokeo may help. Spokeo’s email or phone number search and reverse phone lookup features could discover a foreigner’s social media accounts using only a phone number or email. Accordingly, one can learn about that friend’s interests which can make future conversations more interesting.
5. Change your devices’ language
Changing the language of devices like computers and mobile phones can help one learn a language quickly. Since most device interfaces have icons, it’s easier to recognize what a foreign word text means. Furthermore, this method forces users to understand words and phrases and regularly practice a language since most individuals use their devices daily.
6. Practice speaking the language
While online chatting works fine, speaking is still the best way to practice a language. Even before studying abroad, imagining scenarios and practice speaking helps one prepare for actual interactions with foreigners.
After arriving in a country, it’s best to communicate with locals as soon as possible. This way, one can have enough experience and potential learnings about speaking before school starts. Also, rarely using the native language will help in practicing and getting used to a new dialect.
7. Take up a hobby or join a group
Taking up a hobby in a foreign country can benefit one in many ways:
- Participating in sports can provide insights into shortened and slang terms.
- Joining classes like dance lessons or art sessions helps one understand the culture and meaning behind specific phrases.
- Going into gyms or training facilities can offer comprehension into basic greetings, natural interactions, and other related matters.
In short, taking up a hobby and communicating with the people involved can help individuals learn and understand the purpose, functions, and essence of almost every part of a particular language.
8. Consume entertainment content
Reading books, watching films with subtitles, and listening to music in a foreign language is an excellent way to practice a dialect. As such, these activities can help in familiarizing speaking tones, common phrases, and cultural references that may help in daily speaking. Besides, unlike talking to a local, it’s easy to rewind or repeat specific parts with entertainment content, making it ideal for repetitive learning.
Cross The Language Barrier Effectively
Language is both a way to connect and a barrier that divides people. While overcoming this challenge is not easy, it’s not impossible to achieve. Aside from the eight tips above, having an open mind, understanding heart, and a friendly personality can help one overcome the language barrier when studying abroad.
Maguire Haigh is a marketing manager for Spokeo. He is interested in the latest technology trends, marketing strategies, and business development. He also prefers traveling, exploring the world, and meeting new people. Maguire has great experience in creating and editing articles on different topics.