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Mentor Advice

Question

Do you feel that it is important to know the host country’s language prior to traveling there? If so, how should students prepare?

4 Replies from Mentors

  • mentor picture Peter
     
    Peter
    Junior Year Student
    Fairfield University
    I think it is beneficial but it in many cases it is not critical. To prepare, I would take a...
    I think it is beneficial but it in many cases it is not critical. To prepare, I would take a course in it over the summer or during the semester prior to leaving.
  • mentor picture Michael
     
    Michael
    Junior Year Student
    Loyola Marymount University
    I think it’s a good idea to know at least a very minimal amount of the host country’s language...
    I think it’s a good idea to know at least a very minimal amount of the host country’s language before going. The first week or two abroad is a very hectic time, and the stress of this can be reduced by knowing at least a small amount of the native language. Part of the fun of being abroad is learning the language from experience, so it really isn’t necessary to have a thorough knowledge of the language before going.
  • mentor picture Kimberly
     
    Kimberly
    Senior Year Student
    Loyola Marymount University
    It all depends on the program with which you study abroad. Some programs require prior knowledge...
    It all depends on the program with which you study abroad. Some programs require prior knowledge of the language while others do not. In my program, we did not need to know Chinese before going. Although I learned a lot of the language while in China, I wish that I had at least known some key phrases. It would have been easier my first couple of days there to be able to communicate effectively. My advice is to take into account what country you will study abroad in. If they speak your native language, then it will be less problematic to get around compared to those countries that barely speak your language at all. Nevertheless, it will not hurt to know some of the language.
 
 
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