Life around the world

Thursday, 8 January, 2015 - 18:12

A language student's year abroad

by EmmaH

As a student of languages at a university in the UK, you will be required to spend some time abroad. This may be working or studying. Many students opt to work as English language assistants in senior schools abroad. Most universities (more commonly referred to as ‘unis’) will send language students away for one whole year in order for them to put into practice what they have learnt so far at uni in the UK. The normal length of a degree is 3 years in the UK. Language students in the UK study at uni for 4 years. The third year of a language student’s degree is spent abroad in a country where the language the student is learning is officially spoken. If a student studies more than one language they may have to go to more than one country in order to be able to practice all of the languages they are learning. However some students choose to go to just one country for the majority of the year and spend the holidays either side in the other countries. In this case, they will most likely live in the country where their weakest language is spoken in order to improve it. On their year abroad students try to immerse themselves into the new culture which they are surrounded by. Many attempt to find other students to live with and some live with host families who offer for the students to live with them. Not only do students learn the language, but they also come to understand the culture, the people and the traditions of the country, which is an integral part of language learning. The year abroad is great fun but can also be very stressful, as students are forced to build a life in a new country alone, where the customs and language are completely foreign. This can be daunting but once the student settles into their new way of life, it becomes easier and many would describe their year abroad as one of the greatest experiences of their lives.
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