Language School FAQ
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Language Schools FAQ
The following guide will
answer most of your questions about Language Schools. If you don’t find
what you're looking for here, email us and we’ll do our best to find the
I get credit for learning a language abroad?
When taking foreign language courses abroad, it is important to make sure you
will get credit for your work. You want to make sure the language school is
professional and has certified staff who can help you to convince your academic
advisor that this will be a real educational experience, not just an excuse
to party in foreign lands. Remember that even if you don’t get credit,
a proficiency exam at your home university can usually take the place of your
foreign language requirements, so study hard! (and check with your academic
Who can I talk to for more information?
Ask your academic advisor how you should go about getting your credits transferred.
Sometimes she can suggest programs that have already had students transfer credits
to an American university, making them obligated to do the same in your case.
How much will this cost me?
Learning a language abroad can often be cheaper than taking the same classes
at home. GE requirements for University of California students are two full
years of a foreign language, consisting of 600 hours and upwards of $3000 in
tuition. An intensive two-month foreign language abroad course costs about $1500
and only takes 120 hours. Furthermore, while studying a language abroad, you
are fully immersed and gain a deeper understand of the language. Students often
become proficient in a much shorter time and have a lot more fun in the process.
language should I study?
There is no easy way to tell which language is best for you. Spanish is a popular
choice for American students because of its usefulness in the real world, its
grammatical constancies, as well the affordable cost of living in many Spanish-speaking
countries. Be sure you know what you are getting yourself into. For example,
students learning Chinese should know that they have to learn a whole new set
of characters, as well as tonal pronunciation. Above all, you should pick something
that you are interested in and can benefit from.
How do I find a language school?
You can use your University resources, search the web, or use a US language
placement service. The placement services can usually provide you with orientation
information and take care of all the reservations for you.
What should I expect from a
Teaching styles, classroom sizes, and flexibility vary greatly from school to
school, so you should ask ahead of time to find out if a certain school will
fit your needs.
What is better: group instruction
or one-on-one instruction?
One-on-one instruction is intensive and challenging, as you are the only one
in class, but you have access to the professors full range of abilities and
you never have to wait to practice your pronunciation. In group instruction,
class sizes can vary from large classrooms to small groups of students. These
group instruction sessions can be more affordable and allow you to meet fellow
scholars to befriend and study with.
Where should I live?
Your best bet is to stay with a local family. Your goal is to completely immerse
yourself in the language, and by living with a local family, you will not only
learn the language quicker, but make new friends and learn the culture. Don’t
worry, wherever you end up studying, you will certainly find other foreigners
to speak English with if you feel homesick.
long should I stay?
Obviously, the longer you study a foreign language, the better
you will become. You shouldn’t expect to learn the language in a month,
but studying abroad, even for a short period of time, will give you a good introduction
to a language, and the confidence to continue learning it.
What else do language schools offer?
Check with your language school to see if extra curricular activities
like salsa lessons, weekend excursions, or museum trips are included in your tuition
or planned by instructors. Tips to help you learn:
- Learn something new everyday, even if you don't have class,
try talking to locals, reading the local newspapers, and exploring the city.
- Talk to the locals as much as possible. Go to markets, cofeeshops,
and bars and strike up conversations.
- Try to limit your time hanging out with other English speakers.
It can be comforting, but it doesn’t help your conjugation.
- Watch local TV and see movies in the local language.
- If you’re up to the challenge, try getting a job
where you have to speak the language. It can certainly difficult, but you’ll
learn on the fly and make some extra cash.
websites (Compiled by Sarah Carroll)
1. Language Learning
This website has the Language Course Finder and claims to be the largest online
database of language schools worldwide. It lists more than 6000 schools in 80
countries in over 70 languages.
2. Worldwide Classroom
This organization is an international consortium of schools that offers intercultural
and language programs. Select their Foreign Language or Language Immersion categories
and you could be heading off to one of the four corners of the world!
3. Cactus Language
Cactus offers a selection of the best language courses in fantastic locations
in any language and any country worldwide. They are authorized travel agents
Lanacos has years of experience in advising you where to go to study French
or Spanish. They provide a very personalized service – perfect if you're
looking for something out of the ordinary.
5. EF International
EF offers courses to students in English, French, Spanish, Italian, German,
Russian and Chinese at their international language schools. As they say, "Nothing
replaces eating and sleeping, living and breathing a language...you gain valuable
insights into the customs, culture and history that have formed the language.
And you learn a surprising amount about yourself."
This company specializes in in-country courses to learn Spanish in South America.
Amerispan offer unbiased evaluations of all their programs because they are
an independent company working as a liaison between you and qualified language
institutes throughout the Spanish–speaking world.
7. Eurolingua Institute
This company offers in–country courses in English, French, German, Italian,
Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Swedish. There are over 150 locations
to choose from, mainly in Europe and North America.
8. Language Advantage
Find out where to take a language course over the Internet, how to get a language
lesson each day by email or how to listen to web radio from your destination.
More useful websites
for language study:
Study Spanish in Spain:
Study Spanish in Latin
1. Academia Latinoamericana
2. Bridge Linguatec
4. Coin-ed Argentina
1. Cultural Experiences Abroad
2. Syracuse University
4. Center for Study Abroad
5. International Studies Abroad
6. American Institute for Foreign Study
1. Spanish Abroad
2. A2Z Languages