Overcoming Language Barriers
Brush up on your language skills with BBC Online Language Courses/Quizzes.
If you are going to a non-English-speaking country, you should make a strenuous effort to learn the language spoken in that country. Students who have studied abroad regularly report that their single biggest regret was not knowing more of the local language before going.
It is recommended that you participate in a beginner's class, read books, or listen to tapes prior to your departure in order to become familiar with the language. Basic phrases will be essential to your success during the first few weeks of your study abroad program. At a minimum, you need to know how to say:
Focus on improving your speaking skills. Visualize yourself arriving at the airport and needing to attend to your basic needs. There are many language tapes available for students wishing to study on their own. Especially noteworthy is the Pimsleur's series, available at Barnes & Noble.
For those students who are advanced in the native language, it is critical that you take full advantage of this opportunity to further develop and refine your language skills. It is likely that, even though you have studied the language in the classroom, you may struggle with adjusting once you arrive at your program destination. Consider listening to tapes, reading newspapers, watching films, or talking with natives to hone your skills.
Page last modified January 8, 2013