Why is traveling abroad and learning a language important for personal development?
The answer is far-reaching. There are several benefits to traveling while studying a new language, from immersion to cultural exposure. Personal growth and development is important for anyone, but especially when learning something new and expanding your view of the world. Learning in a textbook is one thing: it’s another thing entirely to see new cultures, people and attractions in person.
Here are some benefits to learning a new language before and during traveling.
A doorway to better understanding of a culture
Studying a new language, especially the roots of it, gives you the keys to understanding elements of the culture or history of your destination countries. You’ll gain a better understanding of the people who speak the language and their culture, such as what foods they eat or the traditions they celebrate.
Traveling gets easier
From reading traffic signs to asking for directions to ordering from a menu, traveling abroad gets much easier the more you know the language. You don’t have your nose in a translation book as often, and with that knowledge comes the confidence of a native (or near-native, anyway!).
Get yourself out of trouble more readily
In countries where you don’t speak the language, you could get in trouble just for being a tourist. If you don’t know the language at all, you might as well have a sign on your head that says “easy target.” Merchants may try to scam you. You won’t get the best prices on anything because you don’t know how to haggle. You may even get into some sticky legal situations due to your lack of knowledge of the local laws.
Knowing the language, customs and laws means you can hold your own.
Meeting new people gets easier
Knowing that you can understand the basics is enough to give your self-esteem a boost. You’ll need that confidence to get out and meet new people. The more you practice talking to the locals, the easier it gets. You will find it easier to go out and buy food at the fruit stands, haggle at the corner market or order tickets to the movies. You may even make a few new friends.
Now that you know the importance of learning a new language for personal development while abroad, get started with BRIC Language Systems!