Language Immersion for International Students

Language immersion for international students and optimal language learning

Language immersion for international students is one of the best ways to learn a foreign language. When we are young children, we naturally acquire the language that is being spoken around us. Then, as we exit the critical period for language acquisition, it becomes more and more challenging to learn new languages, especially if they are taught in school through rigid rules of grammar and vast repositories of vocabulary.

However, immersing oneself in a language is a way for even adults to learn a foreign language more easily. And what better opportunity for that than a studying abroad experience? In this article, we will explore all of the advantages of immersing yourself in a language and, by proxy, culture, as well as give you recommendations on how you can go about doing so.

Ready to take your language learning to the next level? Let us proceed!

The benefits of language immersion for international students

Of course, the main benefit of language immersion is a more natural and effective way of learning (following many of the laws of CLIL) or, rather, mastering a foreign language, but what other advantages does this kind of study method provide?

1. Your everyday activities will become transformed

Once you stop looking at your everyday activities as chores to get through so you can stop embarrassing yourself with attempts to speak a language you are not so proficient at and start viewing them as opportunities for growth and learning, they will transform into a wonderful cornucopia of opportunities. Meetings with friends and locals alike will be enriched through linguistic and cultural exchange as the world becomes your classroom.

2. You will gain a more functional understanding of the language

It is all well and good to know the grammar rules for forming a sentence in past perfect continuous, but how do you ask your roommate to pass you the ladle in the kitchen? Language immersion for international students allows them to learn language in a more functional manner, witnessing it used in real life, which is ultimately more useful.

3. Your resume will grow

Knowing a second language well can help you stand out from the competition in the workplace. It is especially helpful for developing soft skills like empathy, problem-solving, and teamwork, and language immersion does these the best. In addition to bragging about your language skills on your resume, you will be able to tell anecdotes in interviews about how learning a new language helped you navigate unfamiliar cities and how getting to know the locals helped you become more globally competent.

Tips and recommendations for language immersion

Now let us take a look at some things that we have found work well in the context of language immersion. By following these tips, you ensure that you will get the most out of your time abroad, linguistically speaking.

1. Be prepared beforehand

An important thing to know about language immersion for international students is that you do need some preparation. Simply arriving at a conversation in a language you have zero practice in is not recommended. If you are going to a primarily English-speaking country, for example, preparation might mean absorbing some common phrases through TV shows or movies on top of the knowledge you already needed to possess to pass your IELTS or TOEFL exam(s).

2. Do not give yourself a hard time

You should expect to have a bit of a hard time interacting in a language you are not used to. You will no doubt rely a lot on gestures and perhaps even need to switch to your L1 at times. None of these things should embarrass you as they are common experiences among people trying to master a foreign language. Be gentle and understanding with yourself because—worry not—others will be as well!

3. Find chances wherever you can

Though you might find it a bit stressful, try and find opportunities where you can hang out with locals and immerse yourself in the language and culture. We guarantee that there will be no shortage of those. You just need to take the opportunities when they come!

Language immersion for international students does not simply end when they return home!

We wanted to end by reminding you that you should not give up on the language you have been immersed in after you return home. Try to find ways of maintaining your knowledge, whether it is through formal studying or talking with your friends long-distance. Who knows? You might come back to visit them one day or even live in the country you studied in!

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