You probably know by now that one of my personal passions is languages.I truly love the mental challenge of learning foreign languages and I think even a tiny amount of local language knowledge makes a stay in a foreign country so much more pleasant.It allows us to communicate with the locals in their language,and even if we don’t speak their language well,as long as we make an effort,they really appreciate it.
My favourite language of all is Spanish,so I am planning to go on a language study trip myself.As it looks right now I will be spending the first 2 weeks of April at the University of Havana,studying Spanish and immersing myself in the local culture.
I did a fair bit of research before deciding on this particular language study program.I located quite a few websites out there for individual language schools,and in addition to that,there are language course-booking websites,many of which allow you to search by language and/or country.The most popular languages offered by these booking websites include English,Spanish,German,French,Italian,but Chinese,Greek, Polish,Russian and Turkish and others more are also available.
There are a few basic things to keep in mind when booking a language study trip:
How long do you want to stay? One week,one month, a year or anything in between?
Most language schools offer a standard program,which usually consists of 3 or 4 hours of instruction in the morning where the student has the afternoon off.Intensive programs are also offered where 1 to 3 additional lectures are added on in the afternoon.Examination preparation courses as well as one-on-one courses round out the course program and sometimes schools offer special purpose language courses,e.g.business language etc.
The smaller the better.Obviously you will get a better learning experience and more attention from the teacher with less people.A lot of schools offer a standard class size of 8 to 12 students.
A popular type of accommodation for language study programs abroad is staying with a host family,often referred to as “homestay”.Language students stay in a private room in the home of a local family and often participate in family activities,dinners and excursions.This approach offers the advantage of full immersion in the culture,from a linguistic and social point of view.Other accommodation options include shared student apartments or hotels.
Excursions and social events:
Schools generally offer excursions and social events to the foreign language students,some of which may be included in the package prices,others may cost extra.This is a chance to go beyond language learning and to get to know the local culture.
When looking at prices,be careful to compare apples to apples.Some programs have inscription fees over and above tuition fees.Check whether airport transfers,meals or study materials are included in the package.
Here are some links to a number of the language class booking sites so you can do your research:
Have fun booking your next language study trip!