How to improve your foreign language is always a subject people ask me a lot about. It may be obvious to some of you, but there are many others who don’t know what options there are or where to find them. According to my own experience visiting a country where the language is spoken, for an extended period of time, is the best way of improving your foreign language. This means spending from 2 to 4 weeks and longer in the country, getting involved with the locals, taking part in the city’s life, working or studying there, doing activities, etc. Your knowledge will widen and your fluency will improve tremendously in no time if you really get involved. Yes, this is not simply a vacation; this is how you will get your best results out of it.
The big question is “How do I do it?!”. Don’t fret.The following are some options you can consider:
- Working abroad
One way of embarking on working abroad is the regular way. Look for job offers on the internet and apply. If you are not brave enough to live the adventure of going on your own to a foreign country and try your luck at getting a job there are “safer” ways of doing it.
– Being an Au pair/Nanny: There are agencies for this, they usually have a website where families can post their needs along with a picture of the family, just like anyone can offer their services as one, and contact the families.
This type of job usually includes some housekeeping, something to keep in mind.
– Work agencies: These display job offers in other countries especially addressed to foreigners. Some of them take care of papers and talking with the employer as well, and may also provide accommodation options.
- School trips
If you are studying in a language school they may offer 1 month-summer trips to a country which will include lessons at some school, excursions and with the option of living with a host family or in a dormitory.
I went on a trip to Dublin when I was 16 and it was a very rewarding experience. My English improved a lot, I became more fluent, I made friends and I had the opportunity to see a lot of new things and places. It was the first time I travelled out of the country, I stayed with a host family, and it was challenging because I had never done something similar before. I was forced to speak English 24/7 and that’s what made me improve so much. I also became more independent due to the fact I had to go around on my own sometimes and be responsible for myself, even though my host family took care of me obviously and was responsible for me. I highly recommend this to everyone, it’s mind opening and very rewarding.
Another option for people who are in university is using scholarships available in your country or the Erasmus programs, or similar, offered in your university. You will be studying in another country which will allow you to meet locals and work with them, make friends, and just live there. You will experience their culture and way of living and will add an extra to your CV.
These are some options that anyone can make use of with no big requirements. I know though that they may not be affordable for everyone so in my next blog entry I will be talking about easier and cheaper ways of getting to improve your foreign language.