This time of year sees many changes for younger people – many of whom might well be leaving home for the first time in order to work or study. Some might be lucky enough to have the chance to do so abroad and whilst it can be a nervous time, it’s also one of great excitement. One of the biggest challenges for anyone making this transition is learning enough of the language to get by as they settle in and get used to their new surroundings.
Before you go
Try and get at least the basics before you go. Even something as simple as learning the alphabet of that particular language and how to count to ten. These basics – along with some simple greetings and salutations can make the transition seem that bit easier. Many Smartphones and suchlike have special apps that can help you learn basic phrases – some even with pronunciations too, so it can make speaking/repeating the phrases easier. It can be worth downloading and trying some of these to find the one that suits you best.
While you’re there
Get out and about as much as you can – take day trips, visit local markets (and yes, even the nightlife) to try and complement your learning and any language classes you’re taking as part of your move. The more you immerse yourself in local culture, the more you can pick nuances of language up and get used to it all. Be aware and always be safe though, don’t put yourself in situations that you may find it tricky to get out of, especially if you’re lacking in confidence with speaking the language.
Use social media to help you! Things like Facebook and Twitter might not seem like they would be of much use, but they can be a real boon to help you look at how words are written in foreign languages and how syntax is formed. Join local groups and try to interact with local people to practice.
The practicalities of moving
Of course, learning the language isn’t the only factor you’ll need to consider when you move but it will help you with all the other choices and decisions you need to make before and in the initial stages of your arrival and as you settle down. It’s important to be prepared on every level and to know what to do if something goes wrong too. Knowing how to deal with officials and being able to communicate with them effectively can also make things a little easier. Though, in truth, if you are really stuck – you can very often find someone who speaks your native language to help you out.