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Top 25 Biggest Benefits of Studying Abroad [Infographic]

Benefits of Studying Abroad

There are dozens of benefits of studying abroad – travel, new friends, and unforgettable life experiences, to name a few. There are just as many study abroad programs available for students looking to take advantage of these benefits.

Some universities partner with schools in other countries to make study abroad trips possible. If you’re looking for a program related to your field of study, check with your academic department or the study abroad office on your campus. There are also a number of organizations outside of the university that facilitate study abroad trips. 

However you choose to go abroad, you’re sure to have a memorable journey. To get even more excited for your trip, check out the 25 biggest benefits of studying abroad below!

Benefits of studying abroad

Top 25 Benefits of Studying Abroad

#1 Travel

Studying abroad allows you to broaden your horizons, be a tourist, and go sightseeing around your host country. You won’t have your nose in the books the entire time! You’ll be experiencing a whole new culture, and you’ll come home a more well-rounded person.

#2 New Cuisine

You’ll get to try the local food and drink wherever you go – whether it’s the empanadas in Spain or the bouillabaisse in Southern France. If you’re a foodie, then this will be one of the most memorable experiences of studying abroad. You’ll definitely gain some new favorites to add to your recipe book (and maybe a few extra pounds)!

#3 Language Acquisition

Immersion in another country is the quickest way to become fluent in another language! And if you get a head start before taking off for your trip, it will be even easier. Remember that communication is a vital component of traveling abroad – both in your coursework and in social gatherings. Check out TakeLessons to start working on your language skills today.

#4 New Cultures

Whether you’re studying in a fast-paced or more relaxed culture, you’ll come to appreciate a new way of life. Life moves at different paces in different places. For those used to the rapid-fire daily routine of western countries, studying abroad may introduce you to a new, slower way of life. (Of course, this depends on where you travel!)

#5 Lasting Friendships

You’ll form lifelong bonds with fellow students when sharing an experience as intimate as studying abroad. Studying abroad offers the opportunity to become friends with people from all over the world, including your home country. Oftentimes, connections are made during study abroad trips that lead to future opportunities to travel more.

#6 New Hobbies

Whether you catch the “travel bug” or bring home a new favorite sport, studying abroad is the perfect time to explore new interests. Perhaps you’ll get to travel to other cities within your host country, or maybe you’ll learn to play cricket. Since you’re already stepping outside of your comfort zone, it’ll be even easier to try new things that you normally wouldn’t.   

#7 Networking

One of the many career benefits of studying abroad is that if you find a local job or internship, you’ll get the chance to form authentic business relationships with people on the other side of the world. Career advancement often rides on a person’s ability to network, and making connections abroad could provide serious advantages down the line.

#8 Spiritual Growth

Certain countries have unique religious perspectives you may not have considered before. Moving abroad, even if only for a short time, allows you to become more open-minded, disconnect from your everyday routine, and reflect on a new way of life.

#9 New Laws

Some destinations will have a different system of government, and laws that you’re not used to. For example, in the UK the legal drinking age is 18. Certain restrictions may work in your favor, while others may seem strict. For example, heading to Singapore? Don’t get caught spitting out chewing gum or you’ll face a hefty fee!

#10 Lower Tuition

Countries such as Norway, Finland, and Germany offer more affordable tuition. Imagine how much you could save in just one year abroad! Higher education is expensive in the US, so take advantage of the lower tuition fees in other countries. Even one semester or year of studying abroad can save you a lot of money.

#11 New Career Paths

During your time abroad, you may have the chance to take new classes in a different field of study. This can open your eyes to an opportunity you hadn’t discovered back home. 34% of students said studying abroad helped them choose their future career. Who knows – the entire course of your life could be drastically altered.

#12 Improved Academics

After returning home, students saw an increase in their overall GPAs, according to a study by the University System of Georgia. Those term papers at home will seem like a breeze after the experience of studying abroad. You’ll find new ways to manage your time and your study methods will be put to the test in new settings!

#13 Timely Graduation

There are many academic benefits of studying abroad. UC San Diego research showed that studying abroad can increase your likelihood of graduating in four years. Feeling unmotivated? Perhaps a change of scenery, lifestyle, and pace is in order. Changing it up might give you the final push you need to finish college on a high note.

#14 Higher Education

The statistics show that studying abroad is worth it! For example, 90% of students who have studied abroad get into their first or second choice of grad schools. This is one of the most compelling, academic benefits of studying abroad. It not only enhances your undergrad experience, but it prepares you for the future!

#15 Resume Boost

Studying abroad looks great on a resume, and is the perfect way to get a leg up on the competition when applying for your first job. The studies prove it: 64% of employers value international experience when recruiting, while 90% of study abroad alumni landed a job within six months of graduation!

#16 Higher Salaries

Another one of the career benefits of studying abroad is that it could help you earn more money in the long run. Employers value global competency. According to a study by UC Merced, students who studied abroad ended up making 25% more than their peers who did not. 

#17 Self Awareness

Studying abroad inevitably leads to more self awareness and confidence. Even stepping onto that plane takes a big leap of faith that whatever awaits you on the other end will be rewarding! This is probably why 96% of study abroad alumni felt they gained increased self confidence as a result of their experience.

#18 Problem-Solving Skills

International travel often requires split second decision making, and it develops stronger critical thinking skills. Whether you’re trying to navigate your way around a busy city or communicate with the locals, these seemingly small experiences are very beneficial over time.

#19 Money Management

From booking travel plans to budgeting for social outings, living abroad will help you gain a new understanding of finances and how to manage them. You’ll get better at budgeting through finding housing, going grocery shopping, and more. Running out of money on the other side of the world is a scary experience, and a mistake you’ll certainly want to avoid!

#20 Tolerance and Respect

There are cultural benefits of studying abroad, too. Experiencing unfamiliar places while studying abroad leads to a greater appreciation for nationalities other than your own. In fact, 98% of students said it helped them better understand their own cultural biases.

#21 Leadership Skills

Personal development happens at an accelerated rate while studying abroad. Students often develop a keen sense of leadership and maturity after making due on their own in a foreign country for a while. If you hope to be in a leadership role someday, you should definitely consider studying abroad!

#22 Flexibility

This is another one of the personal benefits of studying abroad. If you struggle with change, studying abroad will help you adapt to new surroundings more easily when you get home. You’ll become more flexible and able to “go with the flow.” 

#23 Organization

International travel is a true test of your organizational and time management skills, from packing to planning out your class schedule. But don’t worry! You’ll have lots of opportunities to hone these skills abroad. Get ready to come home a more organized and prepared person.

#24 Social Skills

It’ll be much easier to make new friends after returning from your study abroad trip. Why? After stepping outside of your comfort zone in a foreign country, you’ll come home much bolder. A study from Friedrich Schiller University found that students often return more extroverted!

#25 It’s Just Plain Fun!

The ultimate reward of studying abroad lies in the irreplaceable experiences and memories you’ll come home with. If you need a change from the routine of life, this is an excellent way to add some more fun into the mix.

Now that you know all the benefits of studying abroad, what are you waiting for? Keep in mind that whether your sights are set on France, Argentina, or Japan, learning a bit of the language of your host country prior to studying abroad will greatly enhance your overall experience.

Start learning basic to intermediate conversational skills with the free online French classes or Spanish classes offered at TakeLessons Live. Looking for another language? Try taking a few private language lessons before you go. Good luck and bon voyage!  

 

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Guest Post Author: Tim Wenger is the Content Manager at Teacher Indie. His wanderlust keeps him on the road frequently, and he’s now visited 17 countries across Asia, Europe, and North America with plans to visit many more.

50+ Fascinating Language Facts You Didn’t Know [Infographic]

Looking for interesting language facts? The world is full of diverse and unique languages, from the exotic sounds of Japanese to the romantic expressions of French. How all of these languages originated is often debated.

Ideas such as the “bow wow” theory say that language began with humans imitating the sounds animals make to communicate. Others believe that language was a divine gift, but most agree that all languages developed from a single language into the thousands we have today.

How much do you know about foreign languages? Whether you’re a student learning a second language, a polyglot, or a translator, check out the graphic below. There are dozens of interesting language facts on this list that will inspire you!

50+ Fascinating Language Facts to Inspire You

Language Facts infographic

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50+ Language Facts In Detail

  • There are over 7,000 languages worldwide, and most of them are dialects.
  • Cambodian has the longest alphabet with 74 characters. Try making that into an alphabet song!
  • The Bible is the most translated book, followed by Pinocchio.
  • The English word “alphabet” comes from the first two letters of the Greek alphabet – alpha and beta.
  • 2,400 of the world’s languages are in danger of becoming extinct and about one language becomes extinct every two weeks.
  • The first printed book was in German.
  • There are over 200 artificial languages in books, movies, and TV shows, such as “Klingon.”
  • The Papuan language of Rotokas only has 11 letters, making it the smallest alphabet.
  • Only 23 languages account for more than half of the world’s population!
  • About ⅔ of all languages are from Asia and Africa.

  • French is the main foreign language taught in the UK.
  • Of all the language facts, this one fascinates us the most- at least half of the world’s population is bilingual!
  • Many linguists believe that language originated around 100,000 BC.
  • Basque is a language spoken in the mountains between France and Spain and it has no relation to any other known language. (They didn’t get out much).  
  • South Africa has the most official languages with 11.
  • More than 1.5 million Americans are native French speakers.
  • The Florentine dialect was chosen as the national language of Italy. Most regions in Italy primarily speak their own dialect to this day.
  • Kinshasa is the world’s second largest French speaking city, after Paris. Kinshasa is the capital city in the Congo.
  • There are about 24 official languages spoken throughout Europe.
  • Other than English, French is the only language taught in every country.

  • On average, people only use a few hundred words in daily conversation, while most languages have 50,000+ words.
  • German words can have three genders: masculine, feminine, and neuter. Most languages only have either masculine or feminine.
  • The United States has no “official language.” Most people just assume it’s English.
  • The language of La Gomera spoken off the coast of Spain consists entirely of whistles. (…but what if you can’t whistle?)
  • Over 20,000 new French words are created each year.
  • About 30% of English words come from French.
  • Botswana has a language made up of five primary “click” sounds.
  • Spanish contains about 4,000 Arabic words.
  • German is the most spoken language in Europe. Four countries have it as their official language.
  • Physical contact during a conversation is completely normal when speaking Spanish.

  • Papua New Guinea has the most languages, at 840.
  • Italian is a minority language in Brazil.
  • Over 300 languages are spoken in London alone. No matter what, you have a pretty good chance of finding someone to speak with!
  • The languages spoken in North Korea and South Korea are different. They have distinct vocabularies and grammatical rules due to being separated for so long.
  • The English language contains the most words, with over 250,000.
  • Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world.
  • Multiple studies have shown that learning a second language can improve the memory and slow the process of aging. This is one of our favorite language facts!
  • Argentina still has a high number of Welsh speakers, due to settlers inhabiting the Patagonia mountains hundreds of years ago.
  • Russian was the first language spoken in outer space.
  • People who speak Chinese use both sides of the brain, whereas English only uses the left side.

  • Twenty-one countries have Spanish as their official language, making it a great choice for travelers.
  • Hindi didn’t become the official language of India until 1965.
  • The Pope tweets in nine languages, but his Spanish account has the most followers.
  • Hawaiians have over 200 different words for “rain.”
  • The culinary and ballet worlds use mostly French words and terms.
  • In Indonesian, “air” means “water.”
  • Japanese uses three different writing systems: Kanji, Katakana, and Hiragana.  
  • The U.S. has the second highest number of Spanish speakers, after Mexico.
  • Mandarin Chinese is the most spoken language in the world. If you speak it, you can speak to 13% of the world’s population!
  • Cryptophasia is a language phenomenon that only twins, identical or fraternal, can understand.

Did these fascinating language facts leave you feeling inspired to learn a new language for yourself? Being multilingual opens up many doors from travel opportunities, to friendships, to new careers. It also helps improve creative thinking and problem-solving skills.

If you’re ready to get started, TakeLessons Live is the perfect resource for those wanting to learn a new language, or sample a few different languages before deciding on one. Try the online classes for free today!

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Sources:

  1. lingualinx.com/blog/12-interesting-facts-languages
  2. twentytwowords.com/25-fascinating-language-facts/5
  3. edudemic.com/language-quiz
  4. spanishtomove.com/blog/item/interesting-facts-about-the-spanish-language
  5. lingualinx.com/blog/interesting-facts-about-the-french-language
  6. thelanguagefactory.co.uk/facts-japanese-language
  7. ethnologue.com/guides/how-many-languages
  8. ancient-origins.net/human-origins-science/origins-human-language-one-hardest-problems-science-003610
  9. listenandlearnusa.com/blog/9-surprising-facts-about-the-german-language
  10. indianeagle.com/travelbeats/hindi-language-history-facts
  11. thelocal.it/20170203/21-mildly-interesting-facts-about-the-italian-language
  12. thechairmansbao.com/10-interesting-facts-figures-mandarin-chinese

What Language Should I Learn? [Quiz]

What language should I learn

Have you ever asked yourself the question, “What language should I learn?” There are so many unique and beautiful languages you can learn, that choosing just one can be a challenge.

Some individuals are a perfect match for the romantic tones of la langue française (the French language), while others are more suited for the staccato rhythms of modern Italian. Are you up for the challenge of learning a new alphabet for Korean and Japanese, or would you prefer a more accessible language like Spanish?

This helpful quiz will show you which language best suits your interests and personality. Keep reading after the quiz for more helpful tips on how to decide which language you should learn!

What Language Should I Learn?

There are over 6,900 living languages spoken in the world today, which means when you’re considering which one you’d like to learn, you are definitely spoiled for choice!

Some of the most common languages for English speakers to study are the Romance tongues – Spanish, French, and Italian. That’s because there’s a long tradition of contact between the speakers of these European languages and English culture.

Languages from Asia, including Japanese and Korean, are also growing in popularity as more Westerners consider living and working abroad.

Deciding which of these exciting languages to learn is a process that involves some inward reflection on your goals and interests, as well as how much time you can realistically commit to studying. Keep reading to learn more about five of the most popular languages to learn and discover which one is the best fit for you.  

5 Popular Languages to Learn

Spanish

What language should I learn - Spanish

Spanish is one of the easiest languages for English speakers to learn. There are a number of reasons for this, including the prevalence of Spanish speakers in the world. Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world, and the second most spoken language in North America! So you’ll always be able to find a native speaker to practice with.

You should be aware that there are two main dialects of Spanish – the language spoken in Spain, and Latin American Spanish. The two are broadly similar in grammatical structure but the accent and vocabulary can be quite different. Decide early on where you hope to use your Spanish and choose a tutor accordingly.

The Spanish culture is famous for being extremely open to foreigners. No matter where you travel, the locals will appreciate your willingness to learn their mother tongue. 

French

What language should I learn - French

One advantage of learning French is that about 25% of our English vocabulary comes from French, so you’ll have a big head start if you choose this language! Even as a complete beginner, you’ll already know the meaning of a number of words such as intelligent (intelligent), liberté (liberty), thé (tea), and more.

What’s tricky about French is that there are some complicated word-endings and new vowel sounds. However, you won’t be complaining when you’re indulging in the abundance of wine, cheese, and delicious croissants in France! If that sounds wonderful to you, French just might be the answer to your question – What language should I learn? 

If you’re lucky enough to visit France, you will find the locals think very highly of their language. If you show them you love it too and are willing to learn, they’ll appreciate your effort. Bonus tip: Kissing on the cheeks in France is called faire la bise and it’s how they say “hello”! 

Italian

What language should I learn - Italian

Unlike English, the Italian language is pronounced exactly how it is written. It really requires you to get your mouth muscles moving in order to form the different sounds – think of “bru-sche-tta,” where the “ch” sounds like a “k.”

Italian has a sing-songy rhythm that people either love or hate – but almost everyone falls head over heels for it! It helps that Italy is a country rich with history (Rome – the capital of the Roman Empire), beauty (the Sistine Chapel and Michelangelo’s “David”), and pasta (there are over 250 different, locally-produced types).

Remember that if you decide to learn Italian you will probably only be able to use it in Italy. But there is so much to see in Italy, from the fashion runways of Milan to the canals of Venice. Just don’t forget to learn a few hand gestures along with vocabulary as they can make a big difference in getting your point across to the locals.

Korean

What language should I learn - Korean

Korean may seem difficult from the outside, but at heart, it’s a made-to-order language for eager learners. That’s because its alphabet was developed back in the 15th century with the primary goal of being easy to learn. It only contains 24 letters and is entirely phonetic, so if you can read a word, you can pronounce it correctly 100% of the time.

Yes, there are Chinese characters to master and politeness is a big deal so you need to make sure you understand how to show respect, but that’s just a part of the fun of learning this new language.

There are about 80 million people in the world who speak Korean. Korea is also home to Samsung technologies and some US military bases, so there are plenty of expats around if you decide to go abroad for work or travel.

Japanese

What language should I learn - Japanese

People who like a challenge will love learning Japanese. That’s because it has not one, not two, but three different writing systems (including those ever-present Chinese characters). The good news is that unlike Chinese, Japanese is a lot easier to speak. In fact, Japanese only has five vowel sounds and the consonants generally overlap with English sounds.

Japanese grammar is different, but not nearly as complicated as some Romance languages can be. Another benefit of learning Japanese is that you’ll have plenty of opportunities to practice your listening skills, as Japan exports the famous Manga and Anime programs that make for great learning material.

Japan itself is full of variety, from the modern city of Tokyo to the ancient temples of Kyoto and the snow-capped tip of Mount Fuji. It’s also very fun to visit because your Japanese will surely come in handy, unlike other countries where you can get by with just knowing English.

We hope this article helped you answer the question, “What language should I learn?” Now that you know which language suits you best, leave us a comment to let us know what you decided. Still haven’t made up your mind? Consider signing up for TakeLessons Live where you can sample beginner-level classes in a variety of languages for free!

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Guest Post Author: Meredith C. is a linguist and polyglot who has spent the last 10 years in various roles from teaching to curriculum development. She holds a Master’s in Applied Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition from the University of Oxford.

How to say Cheers in different languages

How to Say “Cheers” in Different Languages [Video Tutorials]

How to say Cheers in different languages

Have you ever wondered how to say “cheers” in different languages? Think of all the situations in which the word “cheers” is used and you’ll quickly realize the versatility of this common expression that spans across cultures and nations.  

Whether you’re traveling, studying abroad, or simply making new friends of another culture, being able to say “cheers” in their language shows that you respect their traditions enough to make an effort to learn something new.

Keep reading to learn how to say “cheers” in different languages, 20 to be exact, and use this new vocabulary when you celebrate graduations, milestones at work, weddings, birthdays, holidays, and more!

How to Say “Cheers” in Different Languages

How to Say “Cheers” in Chinese (Mandarin): 干杯

  • Pronounced: Gon-bay
  • Meaning: Dry cup

China has an entire drinking etiquette and respect plays a huge role in the society.

How to Say “Cheers” in Russian: На здоровье

  • Pronounced: Nah-zda-rov-yeh
  • Meaning: To health

If you’ve ever heard about Russians being heavy drinkers, this is not a stereotype but reality!

How to Say “Cheers” in Spanish: Salud

  • Pronounced: Sah-lud
  • Meaning: Health

People in Spain start to drink very late, but they also party longer than you can imagine!

How to Say “Cheers” in Japanese: 乾杯

  • Pronounced: Kan-pie
  • Meaning: Dry glass

In Japan, it’s impolite to turn down a drink. If you’re traveling there soon, make sure to try the national drink – Sake!

How to Say “Cheers” in Arabic:  في صحتكم

  • Pronounced: Fe-sah-ḥe-tek
  • Meaning: Good luck

In general, Arabic countries share an under-the-table drinking culture since most religions prohibit the consumption of alcohol.  

How to Say “Cheers” in German: Prost 

  • Pronounced: Prohst 
  • Meaning: May it be good for you

Did you know that Oktoberfest originated in Germany? If you haven’t been to one of these festivities yet, you’re missing out!

How to Say “Cheers” in Portuguese: Saúde

  • Pronounced: Saw-OO-de
  • Meaning: Health

Many Portuguese drink slowly and steadily throughout the entire day. It’s not uncommon for the party to start around 3 PM and continue onto an after party.  

How to Say “Cheers” in French: Santé

  • Pronounced: Sahn-tay 
  • Meaning: To your health

One bonus about drinking in France – you can find an exquisite glass of local wine for only three euros!

How to Say “Cheers” in Vietnamese: Một hai ba, yo

  • Pronounced: Moat hi bah yo
  • Meaning: One, two, three, cheers

Vietnam is one of the top countries for beer consumption. Sometimes beer is served with ice and if one person drinks, everyone has to!

How to Say “Cheers” in Korean: 건배

  • Pronounced: Gun-beh
  • Meaning: Empty glass

Korea is home to some unique hangover cures from soups to spas to specially made beverages.

How to Say “Cheers” in Polish: Na zdrowie

  • Pronounced: Naz-droh-vee-ay
  • Meaning: To health

Zubrowka is the most famous brand of vodka in Poland. It’s served chilled and in 50 milliliter shots.

SEE ALSO: How to Say “I Love You” in Different Languages

How to Say “Cheers” in Italian: Salute 

  • Pronounced: Saw-lu-tay 
  • Meaning: To health

In Italy, an aperitivo is a pre-meal drink similar to our “happy hour.” Its purpose is to stimulate your appetite!

How to Say “Cheers” in Thai:  ชนแก้ว

  • Pronounced: Chai-yo
  • Meaning: Hit glass

Fun fact – In Thailand, alcohol can only be purchased or served between 11 AM to 2 PM, or 5 PM to midnight.

How to Say “Cheers” in Turkish: Şerefe

  • Pronounced: Sher-i-feh
  • Meaning: Honor

Raki is the national distillated drink in Turkey. Istanbul has an incredible nightlife, but be careful – it’s not cheap!

How to Say “Cheers” in Dutch: Proost

  • Pronounced: Prohst
  • Meaning: May it be good for you

In Belgium the legal drinking age to drink wine and beer is 16, however the age for spirits is 18!

How to Say “Cheers” in Afrikaans: Gesondheid

  • Pronounced: Ge-sund-hate
  • Meaning: Health

Have you ever tried Amarula? This creamy liqueur is made from the fruit of African marula trees which surprisingly, elephants also enjoy!

How to Say “Cheers” in Greek: ΥΓΕΙΑ

  • Pronounced: Yah-mas
  • Meaning: Health

The Greeks love their wine! If you’re traveling there soon, try Retsina. It’s a unique wine that gets its flavor from pine trees.  

How to Say “Cheers” in Swedish: Skål

  • Pronounced: Skawl
  • Meaning: Good health

Alcohol is very expensive in Sweden. There is only one chain store in the country that sells alcohol and it closes at 3 PM on Saturdays!

“To learn a language is to have one more window from which to look at the world.” – Chinese Proverb

Learning a new language improves your travel experiences, helps you build cross-cultural friendships, and develops an appreciation of other cultures. You’ve made a great start by learning how to say “cheers” in different languages.

Want to learn more useful phrases in the language of your choice? TakeLessons Live offers the chance to try out a variety of languages with access to 300+ online classes. Find out how you can improve your conversational French, Spanish, Korean and more today!

Guest Post Author: Michaela F. from Study Abroad Apartments.

free language lessons

Looking for Free Language Lessons? 3 Reasons to Try TakeLessons Live

free language lessons

There are many places to find free language lessons on the internet, from YouTube videos to apps like Duolingo, but they’re not all the best way to learn a foreign language. In fact, some of these free apps and sites can hinder your progress in conversational skills and proper pronunciation.

Without face-to-face interaction with other speakers of your target language, and a knowledgeable teacher to guide you, the road to fluency will be a lot longer. Wondering if there are any free resources that combine quality instruction and speaking practice? Keep reading.   

Free Language Lessons That Actually Work

TakeLessons Live is a great place to start if you’re looking for free lessons that will be truly beneficial for your language studies. With a free month-long trial, you have access to more than 200 live classes.

Classes are held online in a virtual classroom, where you can ask a teacher questions, get feedback on your accent, and practice your speaking skills in a group of other students from around the world. You also have the freedom to try out multiple different languages (as well as teachers), and learn on your own terms.

Free language lessons

There are many reasons to take advantage of the free language lessons offered at TakeLessons Live. Keep reading to find out more.

3 Reasons to Try TakeLessons Live

Flexibility to try out multiple languages

Perhaps you’re not sure where to start in your language learning journey and you’re torn between two languages. TakeLessons Live is the perfect solution for these kinds of students as it allows you to try out multiple languages, all at no cost.

For example, you could try out a French class Tuesday morning and a Korean class Wednesday afternoon. Having the flexibility to sample a few different languages will help you make a more informed decision about which one you’d like to learn.

No matter where you’re at in your language studies, there is a class for everyone at TakeLessons Live. You can learn about the basics, get conversation practice, or fine tune your grammar. There are also classes for travelers, those in the healthcare, or the business field. Classes are currently available in Spanish, French, Japanese, Korean, and Sign Language.

Finding the right teacher for youfree language lessons

Everyone has a unique learning style. Another great part about TakeLessons Live is that you have the opportunity to work with many different teachers. Instead of paying for a private tutor you might not mesh well with, you can use your first month of free language lessons to interact with a variety of teachers.

Each subject has multiple teachers with diverse backgrounds and areas of expertise so you can determine which is the best fit for you and if you’d like, continue taking private language lessons with him or her.  

SEE ALSO: 30 Incredibly Effective Tips & Tricks to Learn a New Language

Convenience of learning anytime, anywhere

The best feature of TakeLessons Live is that you can access your free language lessons whenever, wherever. With more than 200 weekly classes available, it’s easy to fit learning into a busy schedule. Plus, you never even have to leave your house!

Our virtual classroom allows you to take a class wherever you feel most comfortable, whether that’s in your living room or a local cafe. All you need is a webcam and internet access. This feature is most convenient for students who live in rural areas. It also benefits homeschooling parents as an educational and fun extra-curricular activity for their children.

free language lessons

While TakeLessons Live is only free for your first month of classes, the subsequent months cost much less than hiring a personal tutor. At only $19.95 a month, you get unlimited access to all of our weekly language classes.

Speaking another language opens up a world of new opportunities from jobs, to travel, to new friends. Pre-recorded videos and apps can help you get there over time, but working with a knowledgeable tutor and interacting with other speakers of your target language is the quickest way to reach your goals.

The 8 Best Language Learning Apps To Boost Your Progress

Best Language Learning Apps

Whether you’re an intermediate to advanced student, or are just beginning the journey to fluency in a foreign language, congratulations! Picking up a new language is great for your career and mental health. It’s also a fun way to make new friends.

With advancements in modern technology, it’s never been easier to speed up the language acquisition process. Here are some of the best language learning apps available for download today. To set yourself up for success, try combining any of these apps along with private tutoring sessions for a fun and effective way to get fluent faster!

The 8 Best Language Learning Apps

1. TakeLessons Best Language Learning Apps - TakeLessons

  • Supported Devices: iPhone, Android
  • Cost: Free!
  • Levels: All
  • Available At: Apple App Store, Google Play

With the TakeLessons language learning app, you can access private, one-on-one lessons with an experienced language tutor, or online group classes to work on your conversation skills with other students at your level. The app not only helps you find a language tutor or class, but it allows you to connect through a virtual classroom – so you can learn anywhere, any time. 

2. Memrise

  • Supported Devices: iPhone, Android
  • Cost: Free!
  • Levels: Best for beginners
  • Available At: Apple App Store, Google Play

The Memrise app boasts accessibility to over 200 languages. It combines audio, visual, and chat features to help students memorize vocabulary faster and tackle grammar more efficiently. It can also be used offline, which makes it an excellent way to keep your language skills sharp while you’re off the grid – perfect to use when traveling!

3. Busuu

Best Language Learning Apps - Busuu

  • Supported Devices: iPhone, Android
  • Cost: Free!
  • Levels: All
  • Available At: Apple App Store, Google Play

Busuu calls itself a social network for language learners, and that is its biggest draw. It offers 12 languages including Russian, Chinese, and Arabic. You can use this helpful app to connect with a native speaker for a quick chat and put your speaking skills to good use. You can also ask questions and get feedback on your accent and pronunciation! All skills levels can benefit from this hands-on practice.

4. MindSnacks

  • Supported Devices: iPhone
  • Cost: $4.99 – $19.99
  • Levels: Beginning to intermediate
  • Available At: Apple App Store

If you love to play games on your iPhone, MindSnacks may be the perfect app for you! (An Android version of the app is reportedly in the works). With its bright colors and cartoon characters, the MindSnacks app makes language basics like grammar and vocabulary fun and easy. Replace Candy Crush with MindSnacks and impress your friends with all you’ve learned!

SEE ALSO: 9 Great Places to Practice a Language with Real People

5. FluentU

Best Language Learning Apps - FluentU

  • Supported Devices: iPhone, Android
  • Cost: Free version available
  • Levels: All
  • Available At: fluentu.com, Google Play, Apple App Store

Are you a visual learner? FluentU sends you to entertaining YouTube videos in the language you’re trying to learn, complete with subtitles and translations. Language immersion is key to advancing to fluency faster! If questions come up as you’re watching videos, write them down and ask your TakeLessons language tutor about them in your next lesson.

6. Anki

  • Supported Devices: Windows, Mac, iPhone, Android
  • Cost: Free for computers and Androids; $25 for iPhone
  • Levels: All
  • Available At: apps.ankiweb.net, Apple App Store, Google Play

To learn a language, your memorization skills need to be sharp. Anki is an excellent tool for learning anything that requires memorization. It allows you to make over 100,000 flashcards using audio, video, and images, so no matter your learning style you’re set up for success! Flashcards synchronize across devices, so you can access or edit your decks using a smartphone, tablet, or computer.

7. Tandem

Best Language Learning Apps - Tandem

  • Supported Devices: iPhone, Android
  • Cost: $19.95
  • Levels: All
  • Available At: Apple App Store, Google Play, Windows Store

Like Busuu, Tandem puts you in touch with an international community of people who are willing to chat with you in whatever language you’re trying to learn. While anyone can benefit from this, it’s especially valuable for intermediate to advanced students who need to practice speaking in real time. This is a great way to become more confident and comfortable in your conversational skills.

8. Babbel

  • Supported Devices: Windows, Mac, iPhone, Android
  • Cost: $6.95-$12.95 per month
  • Levels: Beginning to intermediate
  • Available At: babbel.com, Apple App Store, Google Play

This app is designed to focus on useful phrases and vocabulary that you would use in everyday conversations, such as at a restaurant or social event. If you’re planning to take a trip where your target language is spoken, use Babbel to practice forming some common sentences and phrases. Babbel is an effective tool to supplement private tutoring sessions and can help you practice in between lessons.

Bonus: Mondly

  • Supported Devices: iPhone, Android, Desktop
  • Cost: Free!
  • Levels: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
  • Available at: Apple App Store, Google Play, Oculus Store

Mondly is one of the most innovative language apps in the world, being the first to launch a language Chatbot. It offers 33 languages to learn from the most common (English, German, or Spanish) to the most exotic (Afrikaans, Japanese, or Thai). Its bite-sized lessons and gamified approach makes learning easy while preparing you for real life conversations.

It’s fantastic that some of the best language learning apps aren’t just fun to use, but they can help students expedite their language endeavors as well. In addition to using apps to boost your progress, never underestimate the power of face-to-face interaction. Nothing beats practicing your language skills with another person (such as your TakeLessons language teacher) to learn the nuances of a spoken language!

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Post Author: Elaina R.
Elaina R. teaches opera voice and singing in Ypsilanti, MI, and is also available for online lessons. She received her Master of Music from the University of Michigan, and she has a B.M. from the University of Southern California. Learn more about Elaina here!

 

how to make your resume stand out

How to Make Your Resume Stand Out From the Crowd

how to make your resume stand out

Whether you’re about to graduate or are on the lookout for a new employer, it’s important that you know how to make your resume stand out. Competition in the job market is fierce, but here are a few tips and tricks you can implement to give yourself an advantage over your peers.

How to Make Your Resume Stand Out

Use a Unique Resume Template

The number one way to make your resume stand out from all the rest is to make it look different than all the rest. If you’re still using the standard format your high school teacher taught you, your resume is most likely long overdue for an upgrade.

Rather than simply listing your education and experience in a plain and boring document, try using a unique and modern resume template like one of these from Design Shack. Consider adding a professional photo of yourself to the top to make it more personal.  

Emphasize Your Accomplishments

Another thing that is sure to impress a hiring manager is emphasizing your accomplishments. Capture your potential employer’s attention by highlighting what you’re most proud of on your resume.

Have you been a part of any specific, successful projects? What were the results of that project? Did you create something many people were impacted by? Did you lead a large team in doing so? Answering these kinds of questions will reveal what’s special about your unique work history.  

SEE ALSO: The 10 Hardest Interview Questions

Keep it to One Page 

how to make your resume stand out with a unique template

Crisp and clean resumes are much more convenient for the busy, examining interviewer. That’s why keeping your resume to one page is a good idea. Hone down all of your incredible attributes to the ones that are most relevant to the job you’re applying for.

Instead of listing out every minor detail of the previous positions you’ve held, focus on the tasks and responsibilities that show you’re a good fit for the available role. With the little that you do write, your goal should be to express why you deserve to get invited in for an interview.

Include a Link to an Online Portfolio

Just because you’re limited on space in the actual resume doesn’t mean you can’t include a link to an online portfolio. A personal website is an excellent place to further discuss and display your accomplishments.

A few helpful hints – your online portfolio should not simply rehash everything you already listed on your resume. Instead, use it as an opportunity to show off samples of your work (if applicable) and share some additional information about yourself.

List a Second Language

Speaking a second language is a requirement for a growing number of jobs, and when it’s not an absolute must-have, it’s still very often a preferred trait. If you’re fluent in multiple languages, you should absolutely list them on your resume.

Still on your way to becoming bilingual, but not quite there yet? Don’t neglect this highly beneficial skill. You can easily take online language lessons to become a more proficient speaker and/or writer. A small investment in private lessons to improve your skills will be well worth the reward!

RELATED POST: How To Decide Which Foreign Language You Should Learn

Now you know how to make your resume stand out. By following these five simple guidelines, you’ll be one step closer to nailing an interview for your dream job. Good luck, and happy job hunting!

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5 Tutor-Approved Tips for Aspiring Bilinguals | Speaking With Confidence

5 Tutor-Approved Tips for Aspiring Bilinguals - Speaking different languages

Do you get nervous speaking different languages? Whether you’re taking group classes, working 1-on-1 with a Spanish tutor, or taking advantage of online learning tools on your own, speaking is often the hardest skill to get comfortable with. Especially when you’re chatting with native speakers, it can feel like they’re talking a mile a minute!

But don’t let your anxiety get you down. Most tutors agree the best way to improve your conversational language skills is to push yourself a bit out of your comfort zone, and practice as often as you can.

We also like these tips provided by our friends at Extempore, a speaking practice app…

1. Use self-talk. 

Choose a part of your day when no one is listening and describe what you are doing in the target language (I’m going to brush my teeth, I need a toothbrush, water, and I don’t know how to say toothpaste, I may look it up later). It doesn’t matter whether your grammar is good or not, or whether you’re at the level of just listing words rather than forming complete sentences. What matters is that your brain does the work of retrieving the words you need and transforming them into target language structures.

2. Create a support group.

Form a mini conversation group (maximum 3 people) with other shy people in your class or with friends who also take a class in the target language. Get together once a week to just talk. Again, don’t worry at all about grammar. If all of you are in the same classroom, you can use this time to do homework in the target language.

3. Let others know.

When paired in class with a student you have never worked with, let him or her know that you are super anxious to speak in the target language, but that you will do your best to complete the task. Believe me, most people will be supportive and understanding, and they will not judge how you sound or what mistakes you make (chances are they’re also experiencing some speaking anxiety).

 

Continue reading the post and find out the other two tips for language learners here.

Readers, do you get nervous when you’re speaking different languages? What tips have helped you? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below. 

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Do You Know the Absolute Best Book to Read for Practicing a Language?

The Absolute Best Way to Learn a Language With a Book

There are so many different ways to learn a language. It’s good to have some guidance on which is the best! In this article, we’ll explain why one beloved book series is the best to way to learn a language…

 

Language learning doesn’t have to be boring. It’s not all about reading textbooks and completing workbooks. It’s much like a quest; you have to discover the feel, rhythm, and nuances of the language yourself. After all, some aspects are difficult to memorize and– like our native language– better learned through practice.

Learning a language can actually be quite fun! From using tongue twisters to playing with language apps to performing in theater, there are plenty of ways to make it exciting. Reading is an excellent and fun way to expose yourself to a new language. Although we love watching films, they have a lot of visual and nonverbal information that doesn’t benefit your language skills. Just as fun and more effective, reading forces you to tackle the language head-on.

Once you learn the key vocabulary and basic grammar of the language, reading Harry Potter is an excellent way to further your education! Let’s find out why.

Why Reading Harry Potter is the Best Way to Learn a Language

harry potter

 


1) It’s Universally Available

Harry Potter has loyal fans all over the world. This wouldn’t be the case if the series hadn’t been translated into 74 different languages! Whether you’re learning Spanish, Korean, or Japanese, Harry Potter can help you. As an added bonus, each translation has a different book cover. Fun!

me gusta


2) It’s an Easy Read

The Harry Potter series is a relatively easy read. The first book is appropriate for ages 6-7 and the most difficult book for ages 11-12. Since Harry Potter is a children’s book, you don’t have to worry about reading above your level. Alternatively, the books cover a range of grade levels from 1st to 7th grade. This is great for the more advanced learners. The series offers something for language learners of all stages!

Plus, if you’re already familiar with the series, you don’t have to waste energy figuring out the plot or who the characters are. You can just focus on the language itself!read

Of course, you’ll come across words you don’t know. These give you an opportunity to grow! Don’t reach for a dictionary right away. Wait a while, and sit on the word for a bit. There is a lot of repetition throughout the books. See how the word is used afterwards, so you can figure out the meaning yourself. It’s a fun challenge, and you’ll be more likely to remember the word!


3) There’s Multiple Volumes for Continued Learning

 

There’s a lot of material for you to keep busy with a whopping 7 books in the series. Each book is usually a grade level above its predecessor. As the series progresses, the language and themes become more complex. This will guide you on your learning journey as you become stronger in the language!

With the progressive difficulty, you’ll be able to track your progress easily. This is important in giving you motivation to keep learning.

learn

There’s a wealth of knowledge waiting for you in the Harry Potter series– especially since each book is longer than the last!

 


4) It’s Written in Modern Language

Harry Potter was written recently, so the writing doesn’t include phrases that are old or outdated. You don’t have to worry about dissecting 17th century foreign writing!

wut

Granted, there’s Latin-derived phrases like “Expecto Patronus” or “Alohamora“, but those usually stay the same in translated versions. Easy! Sure, there’s some vocabulary that is specific to Harry Potter, but let’s be frank. Are you really going to complain about knowing that “Zauberstab” means wand in German?


5) It’s Written in a Conversational Tone

Seeing the language in context is essential! We would argue that it is the best way to learn a language. You can memorize verb tenses or sentence structures diligently, but they’re difficult to apply when the pressure is on. The Harry Potter series is written in a conversational tone that can be applied in real life easily! Reading will help train your brain, so that nuances, like using the correct verb tense, make click and become second nature to you.

wicked


6) There are Audio Books

Have you ever read a word where you later surprised by the pronunciation? Take the word “epitome.” Although you’d think it’s  pronounced “epi-tome”, it’s actually pronounced “epi-tuh-mi.” This is why the translated Harry Potter audio books are such a great resource!pronunication

You can listen to the audio book while you’re reading. You’ll get a better grasp of new vocabulary by learning how to pronounce and spell the words– at the same time! Listening to the audio books will also train your ear, so that you’ll imitate native speakers more accurately. You’ll be more accustomed to the rhythm of the language.


7) You Can Have Movie Nights

The Harry Potter films have been dubbed in many different langauges. When you’re done reading one of the books, you can grab some popcorn and your favorite candy for a movie night with friends! Watching the movies will strengthen your new-found vocabulary when you can hear how they’re pronounced and when to use them,. You’ll also get to hear native speakers talk naturally and grow familiar with how fast they speak. Watching the movies will strengthen your listening skills.

Although reading the books are a more effective way to study, you deserve to relax! Watching a movie is a well-earned reward for powering through a translated Harry Potter book!

party


Learning a new language is hard work, but it doesn’t have to be boring. Now that you know why reading Harry Potter is such a great way to study a foreign language, dive right in, and pick up the first book. To help you on your language-learning journey, sign up with a private language instructor today!

Did we miss anything on this list? What do you think is the best way to learn a language? Share your thoughts and comment below! 

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10 Fascinating Idioms in Different Languages

MO - 10 Fascinating Idioms in Different Languages

 

Surely you’ve heard at least one of these English idioms:

  • It’s raining cats and dogs
  • Don’t cry over spilt milk
  • It cost me an arm and a leg

By definition, idioms are phrases with culturally-understood meanings that aren’t meant to be taken literally. They’re basically fun and interesting ways of expressing your thoughts.

Below are 10 fascinating idioms derived from cultures across the globe. Check them out:


Polish

1

Idiom: Nie mój cyrk, nie moje małpy.

Translation: Not my circus, not my monkeys.

Meaning: Not my problem.


German

2

Idiom: Alles hat ein Ende, nur die Wurst hat zwei.

Translation: Everything has one end, only the sausage has two.

Meaning: Everything comes to an end.


Japanese

3

Idiom: 猿も木から落ちる.

Translation: Even monkeys fall from trees.

Meaning: Everyone makes mistakes.


Icelandic

4

Idiom: Ég tók hann í bakaríið.

Translation: I took him to the bakery.

Meaning: I told him off.


Spanish

5

Idiom: Mucho ruido y pocas nueces.

Translation: A lot of noise and no walnuts.

Meaning: All talk and no action.


Swedish

6

Idiom: Finns det hjärterum så finns det stjärterum.

Translation: If there is room in the heart, there is room for the butt.

Meaning: If we care about you, we’ll make room for you to join us.


Cantonese

7

Idiom: 眼饞肚飽.

Translation: Greedy eyes, full stomach.

Meaning: To bite off more than you can chew.


Indonesian

8

Idiom: Sambil menyelam, minum air.

Translation: While diving, drink water.

Meaning: Accomplish two things at once.


French

9

Idiom: Donner sa langue au chat.

Translation: To give one’s tongue to the cat.

Meaning: To not be able to guess.


Arabic

10

Idiom: يعطى الخبز ل خبازه.

Translation: Give the bread to the baker.

Meaning: Don’t give someone a task they can’t do.


Know anymore idioms in different languages? Share in the comments below!

 

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