Why is Learning a Language Abroad Important and How to Achieve It

Posted Moving Abroad / June 3, 2021
Anastasia Hill

Apart from being the next fashion icon, Anastasia is also a freelance writer and expert on moving (and packing clothes).

Proust once said that a language we don’t know is like a fortress sealed. And, if you have relocated, and are trying to create a life in the unknown place, learning a language abroad is probably high on your list of priorities. But how does one achieve fluency? Read on to find out why you should put the effort into seeing this endeavor through and what the best tips are.

There are approximately 6,500 languages, yet finding motivation to pick up a new one is getting more and more difficult in an increasingly globalized world. Primarily because English is the lingua franca of finance, the Internet, technology, and all major fields. But also due the fact that machine translation is getting better by day, so one can’t stop but wonder whether foreign languages are still useful. Since you are planning to or already living surrounded by speech which is not your own, the answer is a huge yes. And we’re about to show you why and give you some tips on slaying the new words, grammar and the entire local vernacular. Watch out as some fresh ideas are coming your way.

English Is the Cool Kid on the Block, but Mastering That Target Language Can Open So Many New Doors

In case you’re relocating to Canada or you’re in search of the cheapest places to live in Hawaii, English will probably do and the world’s your oyster. However, for all those moving across the world to countries where another lingua is predominant, it just won’t do. You might be able to get by, yet you’ll make it more difficult for yourself to have a ball and even miss out on some of the most exciting experiences. Sorry, English, but you have no power here. And, these are the major perks of getting out of your comfort zone and speaking it up.

Speaking the Target Language Will Make You Feel More Confident

The Romans used to say all that is mine I carry with me and we’re not telling you that in order to chase you away from this article, yet simply to point out how you’ll actually be better off if you don’t rely too much on technology or help from other people. Imagine your battery dies or something, and you’re in the middle of finding your way around at night. Believing in miming or the locals’ knack for English is not always a recipe for happiness and can leave a negative trail in your adjusting to a new country story.

However, if you manage to learn basic phrases, such as where is this or that, or how much is something, you’ll exude more confidence in everyday interactions. And you’ll be able to discover how to live in another country with more ease. Perhaps even get yourself some friends along the way.

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Diverse Business Opportunities Lay in Store

Regardless of whether you’re looking up jobs for Americans in Europe or considering the right relocation questions to ask the employer, being a polyglot can boost your career and give you more possibilities to choose. A research conducted in America suggested that the demand for workers with these skills is on the rise, and other parts of the world also follow this trend.

Besides, even if you can have a well-paid job without mastery of the target speech, you’ll still have a richer pool of professional connections if you go beyond expat communities and strive to approach your occupation and colleagues from their perspective.

There’s No Better Ticket for the Culture

Cultures and the ways they’re put into words are connected in ways impossible to grasp, yet even without the philosophical or the anthropological aspect, you’ll benefit from breaking the language barrier.

Mandela once wrote that if you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. But, if you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart. And there’s truth in that. People are more open and inexplicably more amusing when they’re speaking the language of their being than when they’re using a bridge speech solely to express meaning. So, those tips for acquiring a new language can actually lead to a sea of new insights and acquaintances.

You’ll Have a Ton of Fun

Some schools instilled this feeling of boredom into the idea of studying English, French, Spanish, Arabic, or some other speech, because they didn’t care about where Jack will meet Jill or where the train platform is (it was never 9 and ¾ sadly) and the program just wasn’t relatable. But, the great news is that now you’ve become a master of how to move to another country, you can study anyway you like and anyway you deem fit as long as it works. Take a look at the following video if you need more food for thought and reasons why you should brush up your linguistic skills.

How Can I Learn a Foreign Language After Moving Abroad – Starter Pack

Now that you’re aware of the benefits of learning a language abroad, you’re prepared to dive into practical ideas and tips. And, that’s not always sunshine and butterflies as sometimes in the days following your international moving. You might feel trapped in a cacophony of sounds that are unfamiliar and you might feel there’s no way out. But, don’t worry, light is always there, and you’ll rock with some time and patience. Take a look at what you can do to reduce the moving stress and the linguistic tension.

Develop a Strategy

Many expats wonder can you learn a language just by living in the country and there’s logic behind that assumption. When you acquired your mother tongue, you only relied on hours of exposure and no formal learning took place. Yet, that has to do with cognitive abilities of the brain, and unfortunately for us, that doesn’t apply when we set off on our linguistic adventures as adults.

For this reason, developing your tactic is crucial. Similarly to how you approached the task of determining what to pack when moving internationally, you should now again go from the general to details and map out your journey. These are some things to consider:

  • Are you planning on supporting your process by enrolling in courses or signing up for a school programme,
  • Do you want to look for a private tutor,
  • Where will you find the materials,
  • How many hours per week will you dedicate to this craft,
  • What are your short-term and long-term goals.

Convince Yourself You Have Time for Language Everyday

Lack of time is the single largest killer of fun and also of opportunities to teach yourself something new. Still, in case you’re busy and moving with kids has and still is draining your elan vital or working in Europe as an American is way harder than you imagined, don’t wave bye to us just yet.

Changing the perspective on how much time you need can work wonders for you. Many people, especially ambitious ones, conceive that in order to learn they need to spend god knows how many hours each day, and then they give up before they start. But, you don’t have to be able to read the Iliad if you’re relocating to Greece and you needn’t be game for discussing quantum mechanics with the locals any time day or night. Learning how to order a cup of coffee or how to buy sneakers without help means getting ahead and for that you’ll only need ten minutes of practice per day.

Put a Dash of Creativity Into Learning Languages

No matter what your answer to the question which foreign language is worth learning would be, twisting things up will make you more eager and enticed to work each day. If you need reassurance on whether unconventional methods pay off, take a look at Tim Doner, who taught himself twenty languages, and who made his first steps in Hebrew by memorizing rap lyrics and using those to eavesdrop on native speakers in New York cafes. And, since your documents needed to travel abroad are no longer needed, you can only enjoy the ride and use up the potential in the new country. Here are some hints.

School Methods Are Cool, but You Can Also Introduce More Ways to Help You Memorize New Words

If you’re the kind of person who likes energetic and goal-oriented outcomes, challenges might be for you. In case you don’t need to learn how to keep in touch with friends as you have some of the best with you, that’s an opportunity to have a ‘duel’ or to find other ways to help each other.

And, even if you’re moving abroad alone, you can install apps that help you track your daily progress, find podcasts on how to complete challenges you’ve dreamt of, or even introduce spacial mnemonic techniques when you go out for a walk. As we said, limits exist only if you want them to.

Watch and Listen to What You Like

Since you went through moving overseas, immersing yourself in cultures and subcultures of the complex tapestry called life becomes easier. You needn’t search high and low any longer to get your hands on the linguistic material and you should use this to your advantage. You can always stick to what you like solely adding the study element (meaning it is played in the target language) and enjoying it anew.

Or you could let the place guide you and see what people around you take pleasure in. If you’re relocating to Spain, or perhaps moving to Portugal, its neighbor, watching a game of soccer (or football, as locals call it) will be a thrilling event for all the sports fans. On the other hand, if you’re planning on living in NYC, not hitting the theatre would be a shame. However, there are some faraway lands whose local languages are not so commonly heard online even, for example relocating to Vanuatu would mean you need to dive deep into language research.

Give Your Social Media Newsfeed the Gift of Displaying More Languages

Regardless of whether you found home in some of the best cities to live in Europe or you’re in a small town in Asia, seeking ideas on social media can take up a portion of your time. But, that doesn’t mean those hours need to be lost. Depending on what kind of news and pages you consume, you can attempt to find something in the target speech. If you’re into makeup, try following a beauty guru from that country, or if you’re into politics look up the BBC page for that country for instance. And, you get the gist.

Get Lost in the World of Popular Foreign Language Literature

Imagine a whole new angle you couldn’t have imagined prior to your transition. The world abounds in authors creating their magic, yet we’re not always able to read them if they haven’t been translated to languages we speak. This is your chance to see how you can approach the sea of new ideas and thoughts waiting to be discovered.

Don’t Forget That Exams Aren’t Your End Goal, So Go out There and Talk to Others

If you nested in one of the best places to live abroad with family and you’re helping your kid with their linguistic homework, you know how much grammar and red pen is involved. Or even if not, this is what most dread.

But, the great thing is that most readers aren’t learning for the sake of an exam. Locals who discuss favorite movies with you in a cafe won’t give you negative points if you miss the sequence of tenses (we hope so at least) and neither will the shop assistant. The end goal of your labour is to be able to express yourself freely, not ace that conjugation test, so remember that when your inner critic starts bugging you.

Hiring an Overseas Shipping Company Means You’ll Have More Time to Practice

And the rest is silence. Or not really especially if you want to hone your skills in speaking, that means you should shun this idea as much as you can.

In case you need more time and professional assistance to complete your international moving, start looking up best companies who can not only provide you with top-notch packing services, but also car-shipping, and top-notch storage facilities for your belongings. Good things take time, so don’t let anxiety and burnout stand in the way.

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