Choosing to study abroad when you don’t know the local language can be daunting. You might have difficulty navigating around the university campus, or networking. Hence, it is always best to learn the language of the country that you have chosen for higher studies. There are several benefits of learning a second language. From being able to experience the culture of a new country, and meeting new people, to enhancing your resume. However, it is not mandatory to learn a new language. It is just helpful. Whether you are someone who wants to learn a new language or want to skip it altogether, we have provided tips that will help you survive abroad when you don’t know the local language.
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Learn the Local Language
The best tip to study abroad when you don’t know the local language is to learn the local language. There are several reasons the student should learn the local language of the new country. Some of them are as follows:
- Easily navigate the daily activities in the new country. Knowing the local language can help the students to easily order food in restaurants, access transportation, and understand signs on the road. Moreover, it will be easier to avoid any miscommunication
- Understand the culture of the country. When a student knows the local language he/she is quick to understand the priorities of the country. Thus, he/she can easily understand the culture of the country.
- Locals of the country are impressed by a student who puts effort into learning a new language. Hence, student who knows the local language can easily get support and help from the locals when they need it.
- Get to network with other students. Students who know the local language can easily network with students who only speak the local language. Thus, they are easily able to connect with students who they would have otherwise.
- Learning a new language is good for the brain! It helps in memory retention, increases creativity and strengthens the ability of the student to solve problems.
Also Read: Easy Languages to Learn for English Speakers
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5 Tips for Learning the Local Language Abroad
Here are some of the steps a student can take to learn the local language of the new country. Students can apply these tips to learn a new language.
- Enrol in a Language School
Most the new people in a new country enroll in a language school. A language school can help the student to learn the basic grammar that is required to communicate. For example, if a student is in Japan he/she can enroll in Japanese classes. Tokyo Central Japanese Language School, Shinwa Foreign Language Academy, International Study Institute Language School, and Kudan Institute of Japanese Language & Culture are some of the best Japanese schools.
Literally, the best way to study abroad when you don’t know the local language is to learn and practice speaking the local language. Use the language lessons that have been taught in the class and find a local language partner to communicate with. The language partner can be anyone who knows the native language.
- Find a Language Support Community.
It is not enough to learn a language in the classroom. It is important to apply it. Hence, it is always best to find a language community. Students can enrol in an activity they are interested in. For example, signing up for an art class, or gym. Another way is to do a part-time job where you can find opportunities to communicate with native people. It will help the student to learn new words, and learn the local slag.
- Say No to English
Being a native English speaker, the best way to study abroad when you don’t know the local language is not to communicate in English. It is best for students to avoid using the language that they are comfortable with. Try to use the new language with the locals. Students can also learn from the locals the new language by offering to teach them English.
- Use Technology to Learn the Local Language
Students can use the technology to watch movies, and YouTube videos in the local language. Use the binge-watching session wisely! Make use of podcasts and random movies and get to know the culture and the language. Lastly, make sure that you are open and flexible in learning the new language.
Also Read: Should you Learn the Local Language Before Studying in Certain Countries?
Tips to Study Abroad When You Don’t Know the Local Language
Learning a local language is time-consuming and can be hard. Language learning skills depend upon the grasping capacity of the individual. It also depends on the interest of the student. To learn a foreign language or not is completely an individual choice. Hence, these tips are for students who don’t know the local language and are not interested in learning it either.
- Download a Translation App
The best part of being in the modern era is being able to use technology. A translation app is a must as a student studying abroad when you don’t know the local language. Here is a list of the best translation apps for Android.
|Best Translation Apps|
- Download an Offline Map and Rely on GPS
Another tip to study abroad when you don’t know the local language is to download an offline map. In several locations, the online apps may not be available. Hence, it is wise to download an offline map and rely on GPS.
- Learn a Few Words of the New Language
To study abroad when you don’t know the local language, students need to learn a few words of the local language. For example, learning to say hi, bye, help, How are you? I’m fine, Thank you, welcome, Where is the loo?, Left
Right, How much is it?, Numbers from 1 to10, Can you help me?, Do you speak English?, I want
Can I have, etc? Learning these few main words can protect the student from landing into trouble.
- Make use of the Business Cards And Brochures
Lastly, collect the business cards and brochures. For example, rather than remembering the entire address of the University, a student can show the university brochure to the Taxi driver in order to reach the destination. Hence, business cards and brochures can help a student navigate their way.
Also Read: Here Are 10 Best Apps to Learn Japanese!
Yes. Students can study abroad if they only speak English. English-taught programmes are available in many countries. Moreover, English is a language that is globally spoken. It makes it easier for students who know English to study abroad.
It is possible to work in a country where you don’t know the language. English is a language that is spoken in several countries. However, do note that learning the local language of the country you are working in can be extremely beneficial.
Translation apps, gestures, and maps are incredibly useful to communicate when a student doesn’t know the local language of a country. Learning a few most used words of the local language can be beneficial as well.
The best tip to study abroad when you don’t know the local language is to learn a new language. Learning a foreign language be it French, German, Japanese, Spanish, or Mandarin can be extremely beneficial. Particularly when you are a new student. However, learning a new language is not everyone’s cup of tea. Those who don’t know the local language can use translation apps, learn the main words used in the language, and make use of offline maps to survive in a new country. To discover more articles like this one, visit the study abroad experts at Leverage Edu.