Study languages abroad
On the other hand, for a large number of people, language travel or study holidays are an opportunity to learn and enjoy new things, while resting from their usual work or study routines. It is an effective way to link the useful to the pleasant, and grow personally and professionally, while enjoying unique experiences in other countries.
1 – Where am I going?
Most language trips are based on two major factors: the language we want to learn, and the destination we want to visit. Many choose the city or country after having chosen the language they are going to learn. This is usually done as a matter of preference, or a need for study or work.
Alternately, there are people who are simply fascinated with a country or its culture. For this reason they decide to visit, and at the same time to learn the local language. When planning a study holiday try to think about what kinds of experiences you want to have in the destination city. Do you prefer a small or large city? Are you more of a beach or mountain person? Do you want experience the lively arts or nature more closely? Answering these types of questions will make your trip more complete and rewarding.
2 – What type of accommodation should I choose?
Like your choice of destination city, the type of accommodation you choose also depends on your preferences and personal characteristics. If you prefer deep contact with the local culture, host families are probably your best choice, although you can also share a flat with other native people. If you are young, and want to enjoy the company of other young people in an university environment, there are student residences in several cities or flats shared only with the students of your school. If you want more privacy and tranquility, you can opt for a private flat, or hotels that offer special prices for schools. Keep in mind, in addition, the length of your stay. A hotel can be interesting for a short stay, but if you need more space, a host family or a private flat are probably better if you are staying longer.
3 – Visas and legal requirements
This is something quite basic, but it is worth mentioning. Citizens of some countries can visit others without visas, and even reside freely in those countries. This is true for Europeans, who can live in any country of the European Union.
Tandem schools will provide you with the support you need to obtain a visa, if necessary. However, it is important you obtain the correct information from the consulate or embassy of the country you are going to visit in your own country of residence. In addition to the visa, many countries have other entry requirements such as round-trip tickets and proof of economic means for the entire stay. Consideration should also be given to special requirements that may exist for minors.
4 – Insurance
Health insurance also depends on your country of residence and nationality. In the case of health insurance, many countries have agreements to offer medical coverage to tourists from other countries. Find out about this at the embassy or consulate of your destination country. Normally you will have to fulfill some forms and procedures to receive it. If you do not have free medical care, it is always advisable to have private medical insurance for any untoward eventuality.
Many language travel insurance providers have comprehensive coverage that includes, in addition to medical expenses, a number of other possible expenses you may have to face in your stay, such as civil liability, loss of luggage, etc.
5 – Transport and tourism
The type of transport you choose to your destination city mainly depends on the distance and geography to be covered; so it is more or less easy to decide. But a linguistic trip means more than just the round trip.
You will probably need to travel within the city where you live. In small towns you can walk to your school. In the big cities, however, you may need to use public transportation. Inform yourself in advance of the options you may have; how to receive the best prices for commutation, ride-sharing etc. Also explore if it is possible to travel by bicycle, to share transport with other colleagues, etc. The Internet is a wonderful research source!
If you are traveling to other cities in the same country, see what are the available options, their costs, advantages and disadvantages. In small countries, it may be interesting to travel by rental car, especially if you are sharing the trip with colleagues, or if the country does not have a particularly good public transport infrastructure. Always make sure to hire rental cars with comprehensive insurance, so you can travel with peace of mind. However, in many countries the public transport network is so good it may be more convenient to travel by train or boat. Thus, in addition to a more relaxed trip, you can enjoy the landscapes along the way and have a study vacation that is truly relaxing.
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