Studying Abroad in a Non-Native Language: 5 Tips to Help You Prepare
If you are planning to study overseas in a country where you don’t speak the same language as the locals, you may be nervous to make the big move. However, doing your research into the destination you’re heading to, and brushing up on your language skills can help you feel more confident and prepared for your studies. To ensure you get the most out of your overseas education, here are five useful tips on how to prepare.
- Immerse Yourself in the Language
It’s best to get your ears used to hearing the language of the country you’re heading to months in advance. Each day, make sure to listen to the radio or television in your target language as you will begin to pick up on speech rates and accents so you’re able to understand all the details that are happening in the conversation. Regardless of the country you are in, there will always be people who can understand you better than others, so setting aside an hour out of your day to listen to the radio or television in a foreign country will help get your ears accustomed to this language.
- Get Reading
After your ears have acclimatized, your next goal should be to get your eyes used to the language of the country you’ll be studying in. Purchasing a couple of novels can be a great way to get to know the language, as well as give you some much needed time to relax and unwind. We all know how important reading is for our health, especially as it helps us to grow emotionally, mentally, and psychologically, so blocking off some time to get immersed in a book should be your next port of call.
- Take Notes
Once you’ve got to grips with the reading and listening side of things, your next step should be to focus on your writing skills. A good idea is to study the IELTS writing task. It can help enhance your grammar for the better, helping you to feel more confident when you start your course. Throughout your learning, you will need to make clear and cohesive notes that you can refer back to, so getting expert help from professionals can help you learn how to structure paragraphs and make your workflow better.
- Write Something Every Day
While note taking is one thing, handing in coursework is a whole other kettle of fish. No matter what type of course you plan to study, it’s likely that you will have to host presentations and hand in projects in a different language; therefore, writing is just as important as taking notes. There are lots of useful tips that can help you, such as keeping a journal or writing your own blog about your experiences of studying abroad. If you make any mistakes, you can have a native speaker check your work and make corrections which can help when it comes to learning a new language.
- Download an App
As a student, the chances are you will own a smartphone. So, before you head to another country to embark on a course, why not download a language app that can help you brush up on your skills, and equip you with the phrases and tools you’ll need to get around. Many apps are free to use and can be downloaded on a range of devices including Apple and Android.
Once you land at your destination and begin your overseas education, it’s important that you can speak the language at a basic level. Using all the tips listed above can help you build on your language skills and ensure you’re confident and prepared for whatever course you’ve enrolled on.
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