Our modern world is very closely connected and tangled together. Whereas some might see it as a problem or a nuisance, most of us see it as an opportunity to learn about new cultures and traditions.
If you are planning on studying in a foreign country, in a language which is not your first language, there are certain things you will have to accept as reality.
Language instruction experts at The College of English Language share their experiences with foreign students and their stories about learning advanced concepts and subjects in a foreign language.
You Will Need Language Lessons
If you don’t already speak the language you plan to study in, you will need to learn this language and you will need to do it quickly, and here is why.
The majority of other students in your class will be native speakers of the instruction language and they will have no problem following the curriculum.
You, on the other hand, will need to understand the advanced concepts and the college-level subjects while barely speaking the language it is taught in.
So, learning the language quickly needs to be a priority. No matter if you choose individual lessons with a tutor, a group in a language school, or just have a friend teach you, this is one of your most important tasks in the first month of your schooling.
You’ll Get Things Wrong… A Lot
Learning a language is almost always accompanied by mistakes. Simply put, you need to try, and with trial comes error.
However, if you are surrounded by the right people, you won’t get discouraged by these mistakes. Rather, you should learn from them and use them to your advantage.
One of the strangest things to overcome is the appropriate register. If you learn a language at a language school or in college, chances are that they are teaching you the formal version of the language.
However, language is a living thing, and it is not the same in all situations. Very often, you will hear colloquial expressions and slang which you might not be familiar with.
Adjusting to what kind of language is appropriate to what kind of setting might take a bit of time, but it will help you learn the language better.
You Will Have a Lot More Resources
When studying for your exams or projects, you will be expected to use sources independently and to show that you are capable of drawing your own conclusions from the material available to you, no matter what language you are studying in.
However, as a person who speaks more than one language, you might have a slight advantage over your peers, as you will have access to the materials and resources they might not understand. Use this advantage well, but don’t abuse it to cheat or plagiarize.
You Will Start Thinking in Your Second Language
When you are exposed to so many ideas in a language and when you speak that language for the majority of your day for a certain amount of time, you will eventually start thinking in that language.
Some people even report dreaming in their second language, which is fascinating since it is the subconscious mind that is controlling the dreams.
At first, your thoughts might be restricted to the topic you are studying, but eventually, as you use the language more and more, it will expand and you will start thinking in this language even about everyday things, like counting.
Taking the opportunity to study abroad should not be missed just because you don’t speak the language. Learning a new language can not only be fun, but also help you develop your brain and keep it nimble and functional for longer.