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What’s the best way to learn a language while traveling?

How living abroad can make language learning fun (and easy!)

By Thom Brown | 11th October, 2023

Are you looking for the best way to learn a language?

We believe that learning a language is best done through immersive travel experiences.

Below, discover how to learn a language through immersive travel, including by volunteering or interning abroad.

Why go abroad to learn a language?

A Japanese volunteer who is learning English in Romania

Imagine trading your classroom for bustling streets and textbooks for authentic chats.

Going abroad offers an exciting opportunity for language enthusiasts. By learning a language in its native environment, you’re making the process both fun and easy.

Daily Practice Sessions

Picture this: you enter a cozy cafe on the cobbled streets of Cusco. As you order your espresso in fluent Spanish, you're not just satisfying your caffeine craving; you're having a language lesson!

Going abroad to learn a language transforms everyday activities into classroom experiences. Whether haggling at the market or asking for directions, every interaction helps you hone your language skills.

The beauty of daily practice sessions is that they're not confined to textbooks or rigid schedules. Instead, they're spontaneous, real-world encounters.

So, while you sip that morning coffee, you're actively becoming a more confident linguist.

Talk like the local people

When you go abroad to learn a language, you have the chance to mingle with native speakers. These interactions help you grasp the subtleties of language that textbooks can't capture. You'll pick up on colloquialisms, idioms, and slang that add depth and character to your speech.

Conversing with local people also provides insights into the cultural context behind the words. You'll learn not just what to say but when and how to say it. Understanding the nuances of communication, gestures, and social norms enriches your language skills. This makes you a more culturally sensitive communicator.

I came to Romania because I really like Romanian history, culture, folklore, and landscape. My dream is to travel around the world, so I want to be able to speak English fluently. Azusa T, English Language Course in Romania

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Immersive travel for learning a new language

A volunteer immersed in Mongolian culture

Take your language skills to the next level with immersive travel experiences.

Immersive travel is far from a typical tourist trip. It takes you from a passive observer to an active participant in the community.

Learn about a new country – its people, culture, history, and language – by living right in the midst of it. This is undoubtedly the best way to learn a language.

The benefits of cultural immersion

Cultural immersion is like a portal to a whole new world. It's not just about seeing the sights, but becoming part of the fabric of a new place.

When you fully immerse yourself in a foreign environment, you gain an authentic understanding of its culture. This is the key to unlocking a language.

How volunteering helps you learn a language

By joining a volunteer project abroad, you can improve your language skills while contributing to worthy causes. It's a win-win situation – you help others, and in return, you gain insights into their language. 

Volunteers go into the communities where tourists rarely visit. Whether you’re assisting at a school in rural Ghana or completing a medical outreach in Nepal, you’ll visit places that others never see. You’re more likely to meet people who don’t speak fluent English, forcing you to engage your foreign language skills.

The act of volunteering also has cognitive benefits. By keeping your mind active, you’re making it better at retaining vocabulary and grammar rules.

Language buddies for life

Another perk of going abroad for language learning is the opportunity to form friendships. The people you meet could become your language buddies for life.

Many of your fellow travelers will be practicing their English. As you build friendships, you can become both a tutor and a student.

By immersing yourself in a new culture, you can connect with peers who share your passion for language. They’ll become your conversation partners, who'll provide a supportive and motivational network.

It was so cool to be able to stay with a host family, practice Spanish, and learn more about the local culture on the island. My group and I were able to have a bunch of free time as well and had great times snorkeling and exploring. Overall, I made some great friends and had experiences that I will remember for the rest of my life! Miriam M, Childcare & Conservation High School Special in the Galapagos

Language learning opportunities

Ready to head overseas to improve your language skills? We offer a wide range of opportunities to help language enthusiasts like you.

So, let's dive into the opportunities that will set you on a path to becoming a confident linguist.

Learn Spanish Abroad

A language spoken by 550 million people globally, Spanish opens up countless opportunities. Not only is it a useful language to learn, but it's also considered a language of passion, adventure, and warmth.

Check out these Spanish Language Trips:

From the ruins of Machu Picchu to the Galapagos Islands, you'll learn Spanish in the world's most picturesque settings.

Combine Spanish with another project

One of the most popular ways to learn a language is to join a volunteer or intern project in a Spanish-speaking country. You’re then able to add structured Spanish lessons to do alongside your project work.

You could add Spanish lessons to:

We also offer High School Specials for 15 to 18-year-olds, which have an educational focus. This means we can easily combine them with Spanish lessons to help you become fluent.

Consider joining:

Use your language skills to open up meaningful career paths. You could end up working as an international doctor or advocating for social change on a global scale.

Cultural immersion for language learning in Peru

Other language learning opportunities

Not all language learning requires structured lessons. You can also learn through immersion while completing other activities.

Here are some opportunities to absorb languages organically:

  1. Learn Swahili in Tanzania: Spoken across several countries in East Africa, Swahili is a language as beautiful as the sweeping savannah. Whether you’re helping out in schools or hospitals, use this chance to learn the basics of Swahili.
  2. Learn Khmer in Cambodia: A country known for its studious monks, Cambodia is ideal for wisdom-seekers. From the iconic Angkor Wat to the markets of Phnom Penh, you'll have ample opportunities to explore as you learn Khmer.
  3. Learn Fijian in Fiji: Set amidst breathtaking Pacific islands, Fijian is a language that mirrors the warmth of its people. While enjoying this tropical paradise, Fijian phrases will start to flow naturally into your daily interactions.
  4. Learn European languages in Romania: Romanian is a fantastic language to learn, with striking similarities to French and Italian. You'll also encounter plenty of German, Hungarian, and Russian speakers there. Visiting Romania is a chance to get to grips with several widely-spoken European languages.

Whether you’re chasing a high-status career or just fascinated by beautiful languages, travel can help. Choose a country where you can stay for a while and enjoy full language immersion.

After spending four weeks in Argentina, conversing almost every second in another language, my Spanish skills developed more than I ever thought they would. Every day from 2 pm to 5 pm, the other volunteers and I had a Spanish lesson with a Spanish teacher.

Through this experience, I found that in order to really learn a language, you have to immerse yourself in all aspects of the language; this will include the Spanish culture too. Kaylie E, Medicine & Spanish High School Special in Argentina

How can I get started learning a language while travelling?

It’s time to stop dreaming and start taking action!

Here’s how to begin your journey towards learning a new language abroad:

  1. Decide what language you want to learn and research where it is widely spoken.
  2. Consider what other activities you’d like to do, whether that’s volunteering, interning, or cultural excursions.
  3. Browse overseas programs and find the one for you.
  4. Book a consultation for personalized guidance.
  5. Start your application to secure your spot.
  6. Head abroad and make the most of this amazing opportunity to learn a language!

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