By: Il-haam Ahmed
English is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world. It is the language of international business and travel. Being able to effectively communicate in English is fast becoming the norm for universities and businesses around the world. Of course you can lean English in your country, but before you sign up for English lessons at your local language school have a read through the list below of why you should learn English abroad…But be warned, you may find yourself on a plane to an English speaking country very soon!
Nothing but English!
When you decide to learn English in an English speaking country you will be absolutely immersed in the language. You’ll have the opportunity to practice your new language skills with everyone, from your classmates and teachers to Uber drivers, cashiers and locals. This opportunity to be completely surrounded by English means that your language skills will improve much more quickly than if you study English in your home country. Even though it may seem scary to be in country where everyone only speaks English, don’t worry too much, people are friendlier than you think! Of course it will take some getting used to, but be sure that you WILL get used to it! Remember that all of your language skills will improve, not only speaking. Your reading skills will improve because all information signs, menus, newspapers and magazines will be in English too. Through constant speaking your listening skills will also improve, your ear will become accustomed to English, and as your English improves, you will start recognising and picking up vocabulary, grammar and idioms that you may not learn in the classroom. Because of the constant exposure to English speakers your language will become more natural and native- like.
You’ll learn much more quickly
No matter how long you decide to come for or what your current level of English is, you will improve much more quickly in an English speaking country. Even if you can only come for a few weeks, for example during your work vacation, the benefit of those short few weeks will be so much more than if you study locally. If you have the opportunity to study for a longer period of time like a few months or perhaps on a gap year after high-school, the amount of language you will acquire will be well worth the time you spend studying abroad. Beyond just grammar and vocabulary, you will also learn skills like being able to write different texts as well as reading skills that will improve your general engagement and experience with English. This means that whatever your language goals are: perhaps improving your language for work purposes or to gain acceptance into an English medium university, studying English in an English speaking country will no doubt fast track your goals!
You’ll have a couch in every country!
When you study English abroad, you may be the first in your family or community to do so but students from all over the world travel abroad to study English. This means that while you learn about the local culture you will also learn about the cultures of all your fellow classmates. During lessons and class discussions you will hear about different cultures and ideas, and after school when out socialising your classmates will surely become your friends. Even if you think that you may not have things in common with people from other cultures or countries, the fact that you all chose to study English abroad means that you already have something in common. The friends you make during your study abroad will be some of the best friendships you’ll ever make, and means that even after you finish your English course you will have a long list of places and friends from around the world that you’ll want to visit! And be prepared to host your international friends who will absolutely want to come and visit you and your country.
Graduate from a Language School And The School of Life
No matter where you choose to study you will be on your own and this means you will start to cultivate a sense of independence. Even if you’re a seasoned traveler, studying abroad offers a unique experience. While studying abroad you will very quickly become part of the culture, finding your favourite coffee shops and hang out spots. If you’ve never been away from your family, you will learn new skills and return to your country knowing how to navigate through a foreign country and even understanding foreign legal and bureaucratic processes. While this may not seem exciting, don’t underestimate the importance of being able to understand these processes. It will benefit you on all your future travels and will turn you into savvy traveler. New countries bring new challenges, being able to face these challenges gives you a sense of independence and life experience that is hard to quantify.
Become a Culture Vulture
You will not only learn about the cultures of your new city but you will actually be completely immersed in it! The experience of cultural immersion cannot be understated. The opportunity to live and study abroad means that you will be able to explore and have experiences that you may not be able to do in your own country. Every country and city has unique aspects to it. You will be able to pick up new hobbies and activities and grow and develop more than just your English skills. Whether that means learning local cultural music, crafts or even being involved in volunteer programs where you can lend your skills to the local communities. This means that while you’re studying abroad you can positively impact the local community or environment. This could be in the form of volunteer work or other activities organised by your school or local organizations.
You’ll make all your friends jealous
After all the benefits that we’ve just spoken about how could your friends not be jealous of your awesome experience of living and studying in another country? No matter how long you stay for, your English will dramatically improve. This means that you will be able to reach your broader goals more quickly. You will have the experience of living abroad and all the wonderful opportunities that come with it. Studying abroad is an opportunity of a lifetime and something that shapes your future. Whether that’s because you improved your language, learnt a new skill, or because of the amazing people you met on your travels and all the adventures that you shared together. Studying English abroad is an investment well worth the time, money and effort.