How to use: all the steps to find your language stay abroad !
How to make a language study abroad?
Language study abroad is one of the best ways to learn and especially to improve one's level in a foreign language, by practicing it day by day, in a concrete context while discovering a culture and making tourism. But finding your ideal language stay can be complicated in the face of different organizations! What to choose and especially how to choose? Housing, destination, fame of the school, what are the criteria and steps on which to base to find the language stay of his dreams? We have investigated for you!
Find your language study in 2 steps
But first of all, let's start by defining what a language study abroad is. We tend to think that a language course is exclusively for young people, and that it allows us to learn a foreign language. It's wrong ! Finally not totally. The language stay, as the name suggests, is primarily used to learn a foreign language or to improve (even improve) its level by staying abroad. But the language course also includes other activities, including language classes, cultural activities and tourist visits usually organized by the schools themselves. This form of learning is very popular with middle school students, but they are not the only ones concerned: high school students, young adults, and sometimes even senior citizens use language study abroad for different reasons: discovering the country, learning increased language, academic or professional purpose.
Finally, learning a language in a country you do not know or can not be a real adventure! So that the student does not completely lose its bearings, the stay is supervised by a team on site, French and / or local. In this way, students can discover the local way of life, including culture, heritage, and life skills, while improving their command of the chosen foreign language.
Another specificity of the language stay abroad: the person can be accommodated with a host family or a student residence according to his / her expectations.
As for language courses, they are the essence of the language study program. Included in the program, courses are taught by an approved teacher who speaks only in the language of the country. Depending on the formula chosen, students take language classes a few hours a week during the morning or afternoon or throughout the day.
Generally, new students take a written and / or oral test according to the schools to assess their level and thus be divided into corresponding level classes. These homogeneous groups once formed will allow young people to learn at their own pace. The courses will begin with the revision of the basics, then the difficulty will gradually increase through written and oral exercises more or less fun but always participatory and inclusive.
Part 1: research!
Well, once you are familiar with the concept of language study and know what to expect, it's time to start the first step to find your ideal language study experience! First of all, know that finding a language course abroad is not so easy. You can rely on the reputation of great schools or by word of mouth but whatever your choice, you will still have to go through the search box: choice of destinations, comparisons of schools, analysis of your budget, the question of housing ... there is something to tear your hair! Relax, we accompany you step by step! The destination Identifying your language needs is essential when you want to do a language study abroad. Some destinations are more popular with the French because of their geographical position. Do you really want to improve your English? Choose a school where the presence of French speakers is rather weak. Other destinations are more known for mixing amusements and language, other more languages and culture. It depends on the expectations of the student. Before making your choice, therefore, consult the destination to which you would like to fly.
For the destinations, bet on your expectations and on the good times to leave during the year. Do you want to sunbathe on the beautiful beaches of Australia? The seasons being reversed compared to France, leaving in July in Cairns will not be the best time for that. Compare schools
It's always difficult to choose a particular school. And there is much procrastination: is School No. 1 better than School No. 2? To find your ideal language stay, we advise you to take stock of your motivation. This can go through a simple series of questions: • Do you really want to improve in English for a competition or to progress at your own pace? • Do you prefer to attend classes in the morning or afternoon? • Would you prefer intensive courses or more thematic courses? • Which class size would you prefer? S, M or L?
Before choosing a formula, make sure that the selected school meets your expectations. Do not hesitate to read the testimonials of former students to give you a clearer picture of the school. Check the number of sequences, duration and pedagogical supervision of the courses offered. Another very important criterion to take into account: the distance between your place of residence and the premises of the school. And yes, some schools do not necessarily specify it! And if you still hesitate, chosen in consultation with the organization, the course formula best suited to your needs. Do not forget they are here to help you! Budget Language holidays are not given everyone knows it! But language stay abroad must not rhyme with pierced basket! Faced with the students' concerns, organizations such as Holingo thought of creating a new concept and revolutionized the language stay by offering a direct exchange between students and schools. No more intermediaries, waste of time and money.
This is also one of the major questions of the student preparing to spend a language study abroad: should he favor the host family for a successful immersion or, on the contrary, target student residences? Of course, students as parents tend to favor foster families for the following reasons: knowledge of the culture method, language learning and total immersion within the premises. But do not believe that student residences are not a 100% winning solution to returning bilingual. This is the ideal formula for participants wishing to enjoy total autonomy and wishing to enjoy the friendly atmosphere created by all international students living in the same residence. And here too, English will be at the heart of the discussions because it will be the language of reference. The duration of the stay; duration of stay
As English is the most widely studied living language for middle and high school students, English speaking countries are more in demand than others. Britain remains the flagship destination. But other related destinations will allow you to practice the language of Shakespeare: Ireland, Malta, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Similarly, for Spanish; if Spain is of course a safe bet, Mexico or Costa Rica are destinations that may interest anyone who wants to be completely immersed in the language. Provided you have time on site. For a short time, it is better to stay on European destinations. In contrast, more distant destinations can be considered from one month of stay. There are many requests for language courses abroad, so it is better to go early.
Part 2: the preparation!
Before going abroad for immersion, one first needs a great sense of organization. Realizing a stay in a country you do not know requires careful planning especially if you leave your country for the first time. Well, once your chosen destination, your school selected and the type of accommodation chosen, it is time for you to think about preparing your language course! And again the same pattern is reproduced and it is the avalanche of questions: what items to pack in his bag, what documents to have in his possession before leaving to do your language study abroad, what are the steps administrative to do etc ... To succeed his stay, the main councils that you will be able to retain are the preparation and the organization! Do not panic, we tell you all there is to know! Suitcase
Although it is quite possible to go on a language stay for several months or even years, the majority of students are content with a stay of 2 weeks. Depending on the chosen destination, it will be necessary to carefully choose the elements to take with you. For that, think about looking at the weather. If you choose to stay in a host family, do not forget to add a small gift (why not from your region); it's always a pleasure.
Papers and documents
Depending on your destination, an updated passport or an ID card up to date at least you will be essential to go on a language stay abroad! If you have never had a passport before, be careful! Getting a visa can be quite long for some destinations. So be forewarning and think about it if you wish for example to make a linguistic stay in distant countries as in South Africa. And of course for more security, do not forget to make photocopies of all the documents you will need, be it your passport, your itinerary or your registration form. Do not forget to perform all other administrative procedures such as obtaining the student card or the card for public transport. Generally, this will be done at the school.
Why take out insurance during your language stay? Because it is a must for any departure abroad! In order to avoid any risk and / or pay exorbitant medical fees in some countries, it is always good to take out insurance. You should know that the majority of language schools will ask you to leave with a language stay insurance including medical coverage and civil liability for the entirety of your stay. Beyond the requirements of schools; we advise you to check the covers you already have and to target your needs according to the language stay for which you have chosen (destination, duration and guarantees).
For a trip to the countries of the European Union, be aware that liability insurance is mandatory. For countries outside the EU, you will also need to obtain civil liability, medical coverage and repatriation insurance. Many insurances for your linguistic stay exist in particular the formula CAP STUDENT of Chapka Assurance. The latter covers, among other things, all medical expenses at 100% unlimited and without deductible, repatriation costs, baggage insurance up to € 2,000, civil liability abroad, legal assistance and optional costs of interruption of studies up to 15 000 € refunded. Little more: through Holingo, you will have the opportunity to get a 5% discount! Health side have you thought of everything? Are you in good standing with all the vaccines? Remember to take basic medications for throat or stomach headaches; it can always help in a country that we do not know well!
Secure your stay
Check with the organization the conditions of supervision at the place of departure and arrival; the precise conditions of transport and the costs of transfers included or not (airport-place of stay). The organization will put you in touch with a single contact, usually a coordinator working for the school. He is responsible for the organization and the smooth running of the stay. He must be able to answer all your questions and questions. A local manager will take over abroad. Do not wait! A language study abroad is a springboard for active life and it is also an opportunity to open up to another culture while discovering the world! Claire