Study Abroad  Language Skills

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There is no better way to learn a language than by being immersed in the culture of its native speakers.  Studying Spanish in Spain gives you the opportunity to learn Spanish where it originated allowing you to speak the language in its purest form. Two Worlds United study in Spain programs allow you to live with a carefully selected host family in Spain in the region of your choice. This means you will develop your language skills as a member of the society learning common expressions and learning to communicate in all of the day to day situations that arise.

Knowing some basics of the new language will help you to get along in every situation throughout your exchange experience. It will allow you to be more comfortable in your host family, meet more people, enjoy more activities and be more independent.

Studying and living in a foreign country is the best way to learn a new language. When you've come to know the language well you will feel an accomplishment and pride at having mastered such a difficult task.

Speaking the language will make your host family and friends proud of you, and it will allow you to explain to others about yourself, your family and your home country.

Developing language skills is a gradual process. Studying language in school is one of the best ways to prepare to be an international exchange student and to develop your language skills. Try to do the best you can in class, by putting in effort to learn language in class you will really train yourself to put in effort while you are actually speaking the new language as an international exchange student. While you can not learn everything in class, it is essential to have the basic vocabulary and grammatical rules to fall back on

A good way to prepare for your experience abroad is to make a notebook including all of the elements of language you have covered in class or learned on your own when studying. Divide the notebook into parts: nouns, verbs, pronouns, common expressions, etc. Make the section on verbs detailed, conjugate each verb into all forms and make a small table for each verb with all of its conjugated forms.

Very important, buy a few (2 or 3, a small one to carry in your pocket or purse and a larger one to use while studying) two-language dictionaries before you leave home. The two-language dictionaries you may find in your host country may not entirely represent your native language or you may have trouble to find one at all.

Remember, as important as language skills are listening skills. To be able to get involved in the new culture you will need to listen very carefully to the people around you. Practice remembering what was said and the sounds of the words even if you don't know the meaning of each word that was said. Carry a pocket dictionary of an electronic language translator to help you find the words that you are looking for to express yourself.

Also remember always that if you make a mistake with your words and people laugh at an incorrect word or expression, they are not laughing at you or at the fact that you made a mistake. They are laughing at the words and at the way in which the words were used together. You may accidentally put words together that make an amusing idea to hear, but people enjoy that you are learning their language, and they are there to help you learn. If you are unsure if what you have said is correct, ask someone, people enjoy teaching others about their own language.

Beyond the fun and adventure of learning Spanish in Spain there are many more serious advantages it will give you. College for example.

By living in Spain you will learn Spanish by immersion. Learning by immersion is the fastest and most effective way to learn a new language. It gives you the ability to become fluent in the language by speaking it on a daily basis.

Most colleges require a certain level of foreign language to be taken as general education requirements. This means that whatever you decide to study as a major in college you will still need to take some language classes. There is however one way to avoid spending tuition on language classes and spending semesters in language classes. It's called the CLEP test. The CLEP test allows you to take an examination and depending on your score you are given college credit for the level of language that you know. The test is relatively inexpensive (about $60) and it can save you time and money, that is if you know the language.

Studying abroad will give you the language background to ace the CLEP test and get lots of college credits. If you are planning on being a language major, majoring in Spanish for example, and you learn enough Spanish while studying and living abroad in Spain to CLEP out (this means to test beyond the level of the course) of 15 credit hours of Spanish classes, not only have you saved thousands of dollars in college tuition you would have paid to take these classes but you also have saved about a year and a half of time that it would have taken to complete those classes if taking a normal, full-time course load at college. Then after taking your CLEP test, you can begin studying your Spanish in high level Spanish courses of literature and composition. And if you are not a language major, you still are required to have those general education credits, and realistically, after living in Spain you will score higher on your CLEP than the basic level which means you won't have to take any language classes in college at all and you'll have some extra Spanish credits, but gaining a few extra college credits for free never hurt anybody.

Admissions Dep't.
Tel: 1 (805) 581-9191
Fax: 1 (805) 581-6079

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