Are you interesting in joining an exchange program? Let us help you. In this article, we’ll give you five tips that will help you learn the language spoken in the exchange program’s country. When going on an exchange program, the most crucial thing is to learn the host country’s language. Not only from the point of what this may imply in the future at a professional level, but also because the exchange student must at times be able to communicate on their own in the host country.
Incredible as it sounds, people can learn the basics of any language in a matter of weeks and handle its fundamental aspects after a few months. From this, we can deduce that the best method to learn a language is to practice it intensively in the shortest possible time. This is why exchange programs are so beneficial to learn a language: students are constantly exposed to such language during the time of their stay in the host country. It’s very likely that during the first months, a student will not have a mastery of the new language to understand literary classics but it will not take them too long to reach the necessary level to hold informal conversations about current affairs, culture, etc. These are the tips:
If you have not started studying the new language, do it immediately
The «perfect moment» to start studying a language does not exist. Waiting to be in a «more favorable» situation ends up becoming a waste of time, a delay in the education process, so when you decide to learn a new language, the best thing you can do is to start doing it as soon as possible. You certainly don’t have to wait for the exchange program to start studying the exchange program’s host country’s language. You can begin by studying its grammar and basic vocabulary. That way, once you are in the exchange program’s host country, you’ll be able to express basic ideas, and this will help you communicate better with your host family contact.
Immerse yourself in the language you want to learn
Some experts believe that the best way to learn a foreign language is through complete immersion in it. This means that you should handle all your contacts with the outside world by using that language reading books, listening to local radio stations, watching programs and movies and using it exclusively while speaking with others. By doing this, you’ll practice what you learn, expand your vocabulary and train your ears to understand that language.
Sometimes we doubt our knowledge and skills, and we feel afraid to talk to others because we think that at some point we won’t be able to express ourselves and this will make the conversation stop uncomfortably. Although this fear is understandable, the way to overcome it is to face it. If you ever make a mistake or don’t know how to say something in the new language, take your time, breathe and find an alternative way to communicate yourself.
If you feel like abandoning the study of your new language you should know two things: 1. That happens to everyone and has to do with misunderstood words in the new language or in yours. For that reason, when you see a word that you don’t understand, be sure to translate it, clarify it in a dictionary of definitions and, if necessary, search Google for images related to it. 2. Success depends on perseverance. Even if you have problems, the most important thing is that you do not stop studying or practicing the new language for that reason. No matter how long the learning process takes, the only way to achieve your goal is by insisting on it.
As you study new content, try using mnemotechnics, which basically consist of associating each learned concept with something that makes it easier for you to remember it like colors, songs, memories, objects, etc. Each person has their particular way of memorizing content. Find what is most suitable for you. Also, using mnemotechnics can be fun because of the kind of associations you can come up with.