Living abroad can be (is?) the best way to learn a language…

What activities have you done while living abroad? How have you felt about them? What advice would you give to someone thinking of learning a language abroad? What has helped you adjust/adapt to a new life? Have you experienced culture shock? Are you nervous for reverse culture shock?


  1. […] ← Living abroad can be (is?) the best way to learn a language… How will you use the “real world” to improve your English this weekend? → […]

  2. ashishbatra91 on June 6, 2014 at 10:54 am

    According to me that’s the best way to learn any language still if you shifted from your native country to abroad just to learn other language well some people can’t afford to do that much changes in life. Well its not even obvious the duration that in this time period you will learn everything. Without joining any coaching classes or any learning classes you will learn only from the environment and you don’t about any language so you can’t question to anyone that you’re going on right path or wrong. Well my native language is not English so please correct me if i am wrong 🙂 . Thanks English Out of the Box

  3. GaGeon Kim on November 24, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    Hi guys! I am sure that living abroad gives us the best environment to learn other languages. And that is why I came here! Actually, before I came here, I didn’t worry about anything except myself. I really worried about myself. Because I already have experienced to live abroad, And I found the thing that is more important than an environment.
    At the very beginning of my China life, I even didn’t know how to say hello in Chinese. There is no doubt that I had a conversation problem. In addition, everything in China is different with Korea. It was pretty hard to adapt to a new environment. After few months, I could feel comfortable. However, comfort brought
    laziness. I almost stayed at my dormitory. I studied Chinese with books at home. It made me get higher score in the exams, but not in real life! People who usually went out were more good at speaking.
    Good environment is already surrounding us. If we look around more often, we could get more real English! We shouldn’t be homebodies, instead of that, we should do many activities. Let’s use this great opportunity!

  4. Edoardo Anastasi on November 22, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    Hi guys, i just think that any kind of experience abroad should be the best oportunity ever to grow up in the way of living. Don’t be shy and lazy, try to meet as much people as you can. I did the same and I didn’t feel anykind of miss feelings. I’m a little bit scared about the reverse shock, but it doesn’t matter. i suggest you guys to visit all the california county, rent a car and travel as much as you can. if you have enough time try to reach Monument Valley, is a very amzing canyon 16 hours far in the east, it should be in the border between utah and arizona.
    Bye have fun

  5. Joel on November 22, 2013 at 4:17 am

    I think living in abroad is the best thing that you can do to learn a language. Then if you are in a foreign country all the times you practice the language. When I arrived, a lot of things were new for me. The most important tip which I can give you is, try to live like a naitive, be open for new things. Then if you think you can live like in your home country you will be involved in many problems. Also important is that you don’t stay only at home or in your apartment. Enjoy the the live! Go and visit the attractions, make new friends and do also partys, then so you have fun and at the same time you can learn your language.
    Maybe you will have a culture shock like me, because when I arrived, I saw all this homeless people on the street and I was first really shockt about that. Form time to time you will get used to it. I can only say, if you have the opportunity to learn a language in an other country you should do it.

  6. David on November 22, 2013 at 3:23 am

    Hi! Everyone~
    I think that living abroad is a really great opportunity to experience about their culture and language, so I can do anything I want. And I can meet many native speakers in the abroad, so I can improve my laguage skill as soon as possible. That’s the reason why many people decide to go the abroad.

    However, there are some obstacle to live abroad. First of all, if there are many different things like culture and lifestyle, it is could be hard to adjust. Secondly, I will miss my family and my country. The reason is that I couldn’t meet my family in the abroad, and some people could have homesick.

    Even if you are really hard to adjust, it is the only one chance during our life. So, I think we don’t need to be afraid about a new culture and life. To be confident ! Everyone can do it!

  7. Mishary AL-Sultan on November 22, 2013 at 12:33 am

    The first obstacle I cant speak english very good with the police oficer in the airport .
    The second obstacle is tranportation .
    The third obstacle is I missed my family , my routein live and my job .
    The forth obstacle is I cant make relationship . In frist month I always stay alone in my homestay .
    Now , I am enjoy here , because my Engilsh langouge is better than frist month , I bought my a car , I have a lot of friends from several country , I go outside every day , but I always miss my family and my friends .

    • james on November 22, 2013 at 6:44 pm

      You are English is really good but you should check your writing when you finish it. You always miss the ‘ when you type can’t. Everyone go a abroad will get homesick . You will fell better after several mouthes later. Enjoy your new life in the US .

    • Bruna on November 22, 2013 at 6:49 pm

      Hey David! I totally agree with you, living abroad is a great opportunitty and can also be really hard. First of all, you should open your mind for everything that you will see and don’t forget to respect the differences. Second, you should make new friends becuse they will become really important for you and they will help you to figure out your homesickness. The last one, but no less important, you should go out and have fun. Bye

  8. ziyad on November 22, 2013 at 12:31 am

    first of all, i want to say that living abroad is not easy at all, but if you had a goal, you would overcome all of your obstacles.

    I will tell you about my experience as an example.
    when i came to the u.s 7 month ago, i was not able to say any word in english, but i did my best to learn and i could do a lot to improve it.
    the other thing , walking was painfull for my because of my weight, for overcomming this obstacle, i have gotten a sergery done which is cutting my stomach. it was not easy at all, especially if you are abroad and without your family. unfortunately, because of that sergery, i had problems in my colon and severe constipation. then i got another sergery done. all that happened without family and friends.

    • Changuk Moon on November 22, 2013 at 6:46 pm

      I’m sorry to hear that.

      Surgery in a foreign country is hard because you might feel lonely all the time.

      But if you overcame this hard time, you can do everything!

      And I think you already overcame this problem and you can do everything!

      Trust yourself!

      You will be the person who you want to be!

  9. Mohammed Alradhi on November 22, 2013 at 12:27 am

    Living abroad is not easy its really hard to live away from your family and your friends, but for learning another language its the best way to get it easy. When I came to SD my first 3 months were too complicated it wasnt easy for me, now I enjoy living in SD, I learned some of American culture also, it is the best experience I have ever had, and you meet a lot of people from other contries. That helps you to not speak your own language which is the best way to learn another language.

  10. Joo Myung on November 22, 2013 at 12:25 am

    When I went to this country, I faced on many challenges. First is Living in strange condition. Thing that bothers me is jetlag. Time different is 15 hours between my country and U.S. I was so sleepy when I was in the school, and I was not sleepy when I had to go to bed. In the end, time is the answer.
    Second is Learning English. Before I went to this country to study English, I didn’t study anyting. I just studied about grammar by using the book, Grammar in Use. After I took a level test first time, I visited the High Intermediate class, and then I broke down my mind because my English skill is very lower than other students. Finally I decided to go down my level to the Intermediate class.

    • miyeon on November 22, 2013 at 6:46 pm

      I would like to give some comments.
      I think you already overcame your difficulties in America.
      However, if you want more enjoy living in America, you should make foreign friends more and more.
      Why don’t you participate in Kaplan activity such as writing thanks giving cards, eating out sweet cake and so on?

      The more you make your foreign friends the more you can enjoy your life in America.

      I wish you have fun in San Diego!

  11. Giulio on November 22, 2013 at 12:24 am

    But what we are talking about??? What challenge? What obstacle? Maybe the only problem that I have to overcome is the alarm clock of my room mate that start to sceraming at 6:00 AM every f****n’ morning!
    Sun, sea, drinks and a lot of great people. Here the atmosphere is totally relaxed. Pobably every one may have his problems, but I’ realizing thsat here is possible to resolve it in a way completly different than ours in my country. No misery, no poverty, no sordid lifestyle. I think i definetly found the real paradise city wich tolked about Axl Rose.
    For sure the only real challenge I have to win is to find the courage to come back home.

    • Anna Minets on November 22, 2013 at 6:51 pm

      oh yes! I totaly agree with you! I had the same feelings reading previous comments! )) It’s a real paradise on the Earth! )) Absolutely hedonistic life! Sun, ocean, amazing sunsets on the beach, freedom, relaxed people, kayaks, boat parties… Come on! Isn’t it a dream life? ))

  12. Inaki Aiz on November 22, 2013 at 12:24 am

    Living in San Diego has been a really good expirience, i get to know a lot of new people. My first few days it was hard because it was my first time living alone, i didnt know anyone here. Living abroad i good not just because you learn english but you get to know new cultures from all around the world. Living my family was hard too because we were so comfortable in our Country

    • Joel on November 22, 2013 at 6:46 pm

      Hey, I can imagine how you felt when you arrived. The most important thing is, like you said, to make new contacts. If you have all the time a lot of people around you, you will miss your family less, then if you are all the times alone.

  13. Bouhour on November 22, 2013 at 12:22 am

    My last challenge was to came here in San Diego to study english. It’s a challenge for me because before I came here I didn’t speak english very well, so at the begining of this new experience it was a difficult obstacle and I was on my own in a new country, without my family and my friends. Now, after one month I feel more comfortable and I think I almost overcome the language problem, and I already overcome the social problem (being alone in a new country) due to the classes I took during one month. In this school I met a lot of a interesting persons, I learn everyday about this new language and this new culture and I hope to speak English very well at the end of this experience.

  14. nawaf alghamdi on November 22, 2013 at 12:22 am

    The first challeng was living in another country another culter. The second challeng was learning new languege. It was so hard at first when i came USA, because everything is diffrent. How is the life,the people,The food, even the languege. The languege was really hard challeng and till now is challenge. Because it is really diffrent languege than my languege Arbice. The letters are diffrent also in English you start to write from the left side in Arbice you start from the right side. This is the obstacle i had it in my life with languege and living in another country.

  15. JInYoung Lee on November 22, 2013 at 12:18 am

    I have an culture shock due to the differences from a majority of the nationlaities. Koreans are a little passive, however, other nationalities have the aggressive attitute even in the class. I am surprised about the differences between the cultures and the attitudes, However, I think that the aggressive and active attitude help them improve the English skills fast and I should learn that attitude as well.

    • Rodrigo Lopez on November 22, 2013 at 6:34 pm

      Hi! In my opinion you should have a more active attitude maybe not agressive it is not a good idea. “Agressive” has such bad conotations. So I think is better only if you try to be more active and interact more with the people around you. It would be a really good experience and maybe you would improve your fluency in speaking, also you will learn a lot about other countries and cultures.

  16. Kasida on November 22, 2013 at 12:17 am

    To live aboard could be a challenge with a lot of problems. One problem could be that you have to adapt to a new culture and live together with unknown people (for example at a host family). You have to adapt to their lifestyles, to their food and using the new language. That is a part of learning a language aboard and will help you to learn it faster. Even if you might have some problems at the beginning to communicate with your host family it is a good way to practice and learn how natives are speaking and you also are able to learn something about the new culture.

  17. Paulo N. on November 21, 2013 at 11:00 pm

    The first obvious advise I’d give someone would be to enroll in a language school, that way you can really dedicate your time to learn another language. Then trying to speak that language all the time even with friends of the same country as you. That is a hard task to do. Living with someone of a different country helps a lot, since that language you want to learn is the way to communicate with that person or people.
    The concept of cultural shock is very relative. Depending of your point of view something that would be a shock, could just be another opportunity to change and be a better person. The perfect traveler is curious, has no fear or prejudice and is adaptable.

  18. Bruna on November 21, 2013 at 1:46 am

    Hey everyone. Living in San Diego has been the best experience that I have ever had in my life. For sure, I’ve missed my family and friends since I arrived here, but it’s a great city and I really don’t want to go back home.
    How you know, I also need to go to school everyday in this city, but it’s totally different. In San Diego, I don’t have routine because everyday I discover something new, I make new friends and I don’t learn just English, I always learn interesting things about various countries.
    But not everything is easy. At the beginning, I didn’t feel so much difference between The United States and my country, but was really hard for me stay far away from my family. Now, I still miss them, but I can handle my feelings and I have many friends that help me and we always go out and have fun.
    So, I have just one month more to enjoy this amazing city. Also, I cannot forget to tell you guys that next week is a big holiday in U.S. and I am going to travel to another city. I’ll put pictures in my next post.
    Until next week!

    • GaGeon Kim on November 25, 2013 at 7:51 am

      Hi~ I think you are really enjoy your life in San Diego! In my opinion, without a doubt, finding something new is important, and you have been doing it well. I want to know how do you keep your positive mind, because recently I have some mixed feelings, I can’t figure it out and it makes me depressed. Please advise to me what should I do ?

  19. Changuk Moon on November 20, 2013 at 11:42 pm

    I think I will do everything I can if I live abroad. Living abroad is very precious experience for people. I can get special experience which I have never tried. So even if it seems boring or scary, I will try that. In that time it is not exciting but after return your country, you have one more precious experience!
    Learning language abroad is the best way. I can learn and use language at a time! In other country, you can’t use your language so you study language whole the time.
    But adjusting is difficult. You live alone and everything is change. I recommend that don’t complaint every time. Some people don’t have that chance at no time. You think you are lucky. Smiling and happy all of things.
    I have culture shock about homeless people and DMV. In San Diego, there are many homeless. And many people don’t care about them. Some homeless people say hello for me. It was surprised for me. First time I went DMV, it was chaos. People made line from entrance and I waited about 2 hours! No one complained this and it was shocked.
    I’m not worry about reverse culture shock yet, but I will live 6 months more in the USA. I think I will suffer from many difference after back my country. But I think it is good for me because it proves that I can adjust USA culture!

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