There is no denying that the world is flattening. No matter where you are, people from different parts of the earth are interacting more than ever. When people from different countries intermingle, so do their cultures, and even their languages. Whether it is for one’s career or personal life, it is almost disadvantageous to stay within one’s culture and not be exposed to those who are different. One of the best ways to get out there and immerse yourself in “difference” is to take language courses when you’re abroad.
There are hundreds of language centers around the world that offer a wide variety of programs. These programs present many ways to learn a new language while having fun. You can take a French course in Paris while taking a wine class, sign up for an English course in London while visiting London’s world-class museums, or take a Spanish course in Barcelona while learning the history of Gaudi and Dali. These are just a few examples of types of courses available. There are classes that focus on business, that prepare students for exams such as the CAE, TOEFL, or IELTS. In addition, classes which prepare students for higher education are also popular. With so many options in so many countries, it is unfathomable to think that a student cannot find a program that fits his or her needs. Not only are the classes a chance to be taught, but choosing the right accommodation is very helpful in supplementing the learning experience.
As an American student studying in abroad without any previous experience in Spanish, I traveled to Barcelona to take Spanish and International Business classes. I took an intensive Spanish class, and lived in an apartment in the middle of the city. For me to get by it was necessary to communicate in Spanish. Living in an apartment in the middle of the city was a superb way to force myself to use the language. This rapidly increased my Spanish speaking skills and a couple months into the program, I felt confident getting around the city. Many of these language centers offer similar accommodations and others that engross the students into the culture of choice. Staying with a family in a homestay is an excellent way for students to comprehend the idiosyncrasies of the daily life of a certain country. Going to class and following the curriculum is only half the experience, but submerging yourself into the everyday lives of those around enhances the experience greatly.
With so many options around the world, finding the right language program and accommodation can be overwhelming. At LanguageInternational.com, over 150 schools are consolidated in one user friendly site that allows users to easily compare program prices. And at FlipKey.com, you can easily find accommodations and also read their reviews. When it comes to learning a new language abroad, it is no exaggeration to say the world is at your fingertips.