Traveling to a country whose language you do not speak sounds like a romantic journey full of new experience and mind-breaking discoveries. But studying in a country when you do not know a word in the local language sounds like a burning hell. When you travel you can avoid communication, but when you study abroad, you need to speak to other people all the time. In some cases, English is enough. However, English is just a basis that helps you survive in another country. To feel comfortable and enjoy studying abroad, you need to be good with a new language. If it is impossible to learn language in advance, the following tips will make your studying abroad easier.
- Start with the basics
No one expects that you will start to speak a foreign language from the first days of staying abroad. But you need to make a step forward speaking the language: learn some basic phrases. Incorporate those phrases into your daily routine and force yourself to use them in your daily communication. If you live in a hostel or in a family, you can ask native speakers for some help.
- Force yourself to speak
Even if you know that your knowledge is not enough to say even a phrase, try to build it using all words that you know. A good way to start speaking is to learn out some sentences by heart and use them in appropriate situations. Rehearse these phrases when you are alone. Rehearsals help feel more confident with what and how you speak. Besides, a new phrase will not sound strange to you so it will be easier to use it for the first time.
- Listen to people
Frequently, speaking is not the biggest problem with a foreign language. You can always learn some phrases and use them to explain something to a person. The problem appears when people start to talk to you. You look like someone with mental and speech development delay. You may catch only some words (in fact, this is enough for a communication, and we will explain it a little bit later), but in most cases, you hear only some sounds. The best way to overcome this problem is to listen to other people trying to understand what they are talking about. If you understand nothing, practice with TV-shows, movies, or audiobooks. The secret of this method is to listen to what people talk and see the words (subtitles, script, or a written copy of a book).
When you study abroad, you cannot avoid the situations of forced communication. If you understand nothing, just confess that you do not speak the language. Of course, it is better to learn this phrase for these situations. No one will blame or shame you if you confess. Moreover, people will do everything possible to help you solve your problem.
- Point and shrug
If you cannot explain something, use the language of your body. Pointing, shrugging, facial expressions and hand gestures sometimes can tell even more than the words. Do not be afraid to use your body for communication.
- Use context
In the third point of our tip section, we’ve noticed that even if you catch only some words, it can help you with communication. The main trick here is to use the context of the situation. A couple of words and a context can explain you everything.
- Try not to use English
In most cases, to study abroad you need to speak English. This is one of the main requirements for foreign students. However, to feel comfortable in your everyday routine, English is not enough. Moreover, even in European countries, English is not widespread especially if you study in a small town. Do not use English if you can tell the same things using words of the local language.
With a proper approach, you can study in a country whose language you do not know without any problems. Moreover, if you use this situation in your favour, you can learn a new language while you are studying abroad. Everything depends on you desire, do not be lazy, use our tips and make you studying abroad bring you more benefits than you even expected!
BIO: Sophia Clark is a creative writer from New York who loves to share her thoughts with readers. In my free time she enjoys writing fiction as well as reading it. Her big dream is to publish a novel one day. Connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.