Why my Study Abroad Experience was Life Changing

Why My Study Abroad Experience was Life Changing

– Written by: Cintia Morello

Little did I know when leaving the familiar comforts of home to experience an unfamiliar culture, I would embark on the next great and rewarding adventure of my life.

Language in and of itself is fascinating and the technique of immersion is truly the best and quickest way to learn. Here are a few valuable lessons and tips for those pursuing a path of cultural awareness through studying a language abroad.

Abroad is just that, Abroad!

When you arrive in a new country, culture shock is inevitable! There are so many sights, sounds, and smells; it can seem overwhelming enough to cause anyone to think twice about jumping back on the plane that you just departed. Initially, learning the native language will be the last thing on your mind; finding a place to eat and sleep quickly becomes most important.

Make sure that you have a guide or companion arranged to meet you when you arrive in order to expedite the adjusting experience. At this point, do not be afraid to look like an intimidated tourist; in time and with dedication to your study of language, you will quickly find your way around like a true cultural aficionado.

A Different Perspective on Life

Ask anyone who has studied or traveled abroad and they will all unanimously conclude: it becomes addicting. Broadening your horizons by meeting new people and experiencing new cultures can easily become a hobby or inspire the next step in your journey of life. As stated before, the quickest way to learn the native language in whichever country you visit is full immersion.

Even though it will be frustrating and challenging at times, you will be thankful for understanding the cultural significance of communicating like a local while studying abroad. Another advantage of cultural exposure is becoming self-aware and appreciative. Whether you travel to a country socially and economically similar to your own, or you accept the challenge of traveling to a third world country, your experience will change your perspective of your own routines and the amenities you take for granted back home.Learn Japanese in Japan

Observing Native Cultures while Studying Abroad

Imagine meeting new people with whom you have only one thing in common: the love of coffee. Now, picture the various descriptions of coffee drinks in a foreign language. In the coffee shop, you try and observe what others are ordering for any familiar smells, appearances, or descriptions; alas, to no avail.

Finally, it is your turn to order: how can you communicate your usual order – an iced dirty chai tea latte with coconut milk – to the cashier when you’re intimidated to open your mouth and ask if they even have coconut milk? Language takes practice and patience; therefore, don’t be demanding or become irate if the barista gives you a blank stare. With practice, you will become a pro at ordering even the most complicated concoction.

What have we learned from this example? Express patience and respect native cultural norms. If they do not provide a certain beverage or keep stock of your favorite ingredient due to religious beliefs or social unacceptability, learn to adapt your tastes to theirs; after all, you are a guest in their country and when in Rome…

The Obvious and the Indirect Benefits

Once you decide to start pond jumping, a common expression with international travelers, be aware of both the benefits and challenges you will face. Some general challenges regarding language barriers and cultural differences were previously mentioned and may cause you to think twice about any or all aspects of traveling abroad; however, you can also greatly profit from your traveling experiences in many indirect ways.

As the global economy grows, so does the demand for multi-linguistic skilled employees. A resume with travelling abroad experience, especially focused on learning new languages, indicates to any employer that you are an open-minded individual eager to accept challenges and adapt to new environments.

The Return Home

Once you return home, expect a constant buzz from friends, family, and co-workers for the next several months (even years).

After any experience abroad, there is a readjustment period some may assume is unnatural or inconvenient. If you experience any thoughts or feelings similar to these, remember to grant yourself patience and reflect on the positive life-changing decisions and experiences; rest assured, the itch to pond hop will return!

Study Abroad Students

Interesting Things that Happen When you Study Abroad

Interesting things that happen when you study abroad

(and strange things as well)

  • Written by: Lawrence Morello

Making a decision to study abroad is one of the best decisions you will ever make in your academic life. Not only can you earn credits towards your degree program but: you are also going to develop a new language or improve your existing language abilities, prepare for a career in diverse and international work environments and you are also going to gain a new perspective in your field of study.

Most importantly, you are going to have a cross cultural interaction with other cultures. However, less amazing things are also bound to happen especially when you are new but fear not, for the transition will be a fast one and you will soon be enjoying your time abroad. Below are some of the interesting things that happen when you study abroad.

  1. You become fiercely independent

It is always a great opportunity to learn how to function like a real adult. When you get abroad, you will come to realize that there will be no one to do some of the things that used to be done for you while you were at home, such as cooking and budget your money. You will learn to make new friends not through the influence of other friends but through yourself.

You will start making the decisions of where to go whom to visit etc. In general, what I am trying to say is that once you get abroad, you will be the skipper of your own ship something that would have taken a long time if you were back home and trust me, your parents will that.

  1. Appreciate your family more

Truly absence makes the heart fonder and this being your first time spending time far from home you will miss your family. Time difference will make this experience even harder but you will strive to ensure that you reach them over the phone no matter the time of the day. When you finally get to be reunited with your family, it will be like Christmas.

  1. You make friends more easily

When you study abroad, most likely you will know only a few people from your group or none at all. This will be a challenging experience and you will be forced to make new friends in order to survive. This is a skill that will come in handy and you will learn to easily make friends and in return become extroverted. You will become more confident in presenting yourself and that is why foreign student know how to find love easily as they perfect the art of making new friends.

  1. Get the traveling bug

You will become addicted to traveling in the sense that you will constantly want to travel to a new place just for the fun of experiencing something new. If you are an American, Europe will become your second home as you will be traveling on and off until you become like one of the natives.

Apart from the interesting things that you will experience when you arrive in your new university abroad, you will also get to experience strange things as noted below:

  1. Not knowing what is going on and culture shock

Things at the new school will probably look different and it will take a while before you start figuring out school and the cultural traditions. This is common with everyone who decides to study abroad. The new culture might be overwhelming including the food but with time, you will learn to make sense of it all.

  1. Difficulty in understand the new Lingo

A new country means a new language. Even if the new country will be speaking your same language, there will still be a regional slang that you will have to pick on.

  1. Getting to be asked the same stereotypical questions over and over again

Once people learn that you are from a particular country, they will begin to ask some of the stereotypical questions they have read or heard about your country. Even though sometime this might be fun especially since it is one way of making new friends but sometimes, it ends up being nagging as some of those stereotypes might not be good.

  1. Get lost and end up in some of the most amazing places

When you are new in your new country, everything will somehow look familiar. Time and again you will get lost but end up in the strangest but terrific places where you will build your memories as the first places you ended up in when you got lost while you were new.

In general, let us admit it; it is totally amazing studying abroad. Some of the friends we get to make end up becoming our lifelong friends and interesting enough some people even end up living there as they cannot stop loving the experience of their second home.

Check out our site for amazing schools from all over the world and let us help you get started on the adventure of a lifetime!

Independent Scotland

What would an independent Scotland mean for English schools?

What would an independent Scotland mean…

for Schools of English in Scotland? (Part 1)

You will probably be aware that in Scotland we will have a referendum this September to decide if we should become an independent country. What would that mean for study travel agents? This, and a further article, will offer some answers, without, we trust, making any overtly political points.

The first – and rather obvious – thing to say is that we’ll still be speaking English in Scotland, even if we are no longer bound politically to England. So no change there!

In addition, the reality is that unpicking the 300+ years of shared institutions and services will not happen overnight. Although the pro-independence movement has a timetable for making Scotland an independent country, it will take several years before there is actual separation from the rest of the UK. So you can plan for at least 2015 and probably 2016, safe in the knowledge that nothing will change.

Of course, if the ‘Better Together’ campaign wins and we remain part of the UK, then nothing changes anyway. The opinion polls have consistently shown a lead for the unionists (i.e. those who want to remain part of the UK), and although their lead has been cut slightly, it remains generally constant and strong.

Most people will already know which way they will vote, so the battle for supremacy is only being fought over a relatively small number of undecided voters, albeit there are enough of them that if they all voted one way (in itself unlikely) they could change the result.

Thereafter, if Scotland does become independent, what happens is, despite the claims of the nationalists, by no means clear-cut. However most of the key changes that will come about are actually of no real interest to any foreign students coming to study here. Issues over the economy, social policy, our currency, defence, the monarchy, will all be resolved in due course but won’t make a difference to the average student.

So overall, our message, in the short-medium term at least, is ‘business as usual’!

By Andrew Lennox, President

Study Abroad on a budget

Smart Ways to Study Abroad on a Budget!

– By Cintia Morello

Most people with the desire to study abroad are cowed by the expenses they think they will incur. Although leaving one’s country to go and stay in a foreign land will definitely cause some pocket dent, one can manage just fine.

Depending on the country you are going to, it is possible to make arrangements that do not necessarily require you to rob a bank.

Some of these arrangements include;

  1. Local Home stay

Learn about accommodation abroad!

This is most suitable for a traveler who has an interest in learning about a certain languages or culture. Find a family with extra space to rent and a need to make some extra cash. Some of these home stays offer breakfast and dinner depending on the kind of agreement you have.

It might be challenging to stay among strangers but it will help you learn from their lifestyle, save you the cost of furnishing a house and money you would have spent on meals.

  1. Maximize on Study Abroad Scholarships

Most study programs have a clear framework for applying for bursaries. They indicate the potential amounts available, the process of applying as well as the deadline and restrictions that may apply. This money can go a long way in making your study trip an enjoyable one.

  1. Consider Backpacker Hostels

For a budget-minded student, back packer hostels are an ideal option. There are communal bathrooms and rooms which help keep the cost at an affordable rate. An average hostel room can host up to four people and comes fully furnished with bunk-beds.

For security of personal belongings, individual lockers are provided. An average basic breakfast is also provided. This atmosphere is shared among fellow travelers and creates a good environment to interact socially.

  1. Regulate Your Eating Habits

Being away from home, it is unlikely that you will enjoy the meals you were used to having back at home. Every so often you will come across restaurants that serve your favorite meal from home. It is very tempting to go to such a hotel.

However, this is an unaffordable comfort when traveling on a budget.

If you must eat out, pick a local hotel whose meals are within your current budget or at least something you will not need to ruin your entire plan for .

  1. Socialize at a Local Level

The residents of the country you are visiting are bound to know more about the best places to socialize in than you do. Try new things with the locals, eat their food and visit their local entertainments spots. There are a thousand fun activities that these people take part in-be a part of them and save the money you would have spent paying for entertainment.

  1. Do as The Locals Do

Find travel insurance for while you are abroad…

If, for example you are staying in Spain, follow the daily habits of the Spanish people. Educate yourself in their ways of doing things. All people who have lived in their country for years have a tendency to doing everything cheaper than the visitors would.

They know where to go for cheap shopping and even how to enjoy sightseeing at small prices. Even local residents do not always visit fancy shopping malls and restaurants all the time-follow their ways and you will be comfortable in your tight budget.

  1. Look for Discount Stores

Most countries in the world have discount stores. These outlets sell almost all products at a significantly lower price compared to other shopping areas. A wide assortment of goods is availed and the focus is mainly on price rather than service. Buying stuff from such stores is a great way of saving money.

  1. Cook For Yourself

Although you may have gotten used to having meals cooked for you or eating out back at home, cooking for yourself might be just what you need to save costs. Cooking your own meals can even be fun as you get to practice with new recipes and new cookware. It is also less costly to prepare your own meal than it is to eat out.

There are also high chances of you enjoying your meal as you make it your way. Cooking for yourself will also help you regulate your meals in a healthy way-you can have a heavy breakfast, heavy lunch and enjoy a light dinner later in the day.

  1. Use Public Transport

As a student, you do not want to spend all your money on cab fare. If you are worried that public transport will take a lot of your study time, you can restrict all movements covering reasonable distances to night time. Take advantage of night trains which are cheap and convenient. Not only will they save you on transport charges but they will also save you accommodation fees as you will not need to pay for a place to spend the night .It is also advisable to research on various travel discounts to ensure that you are getting the best bargain.

  1. Currency exchange

A careful consideration of exchange rates can make the much-needed difference in your finances. Many exchange centers have unfriendly rates and you should keep away from such. If you are not sure of where to go, you can use the internet to find out the best places to get cash in the local currency.

A search tells you the best exchange rates can be found at the airport just after landing. It should also warn you about the places where using an ATM machine is most expensive. Due to the rapid changes that occur in website architecture, you should stick to the local website for the best results. Making a booking for an exchange is also cheaper if you use the local currency. To do this, just go to the local version of the same website.

For those looking to study languages abroad, one of the bigger challenges will involve operating under a restrictive budget. This is not by any means difficult to pull off-it just requires a few adjustments and sacrifices. Sometimes, all you have to do is tune your mind to a phase of doing things differently and gaining new experiences.

 

Running of the Balls

Study Spanish in Spain and enjoy the “Running of the Balls”

 Spanish Town Changes the “Running of the Bulls” to a More Modern “Running of the Balls”.

  • By Esther Campos (translation by Lawrence Morello)

See all of our Spanish schools around the world…

You may know that in Spain there are a number of summer festivals called “Bull Runs”, with the most famous Bull Run occurring in a town called Pamplona.

In Guadarrama National Park in Madrid they are doing things a little bit differently…

There are 3 small towns “El Boalo”, “Cerceda” &  “Mataelpino” which are about 3 miles apart from each other. Each one has its own summer festival between the months of July and September, and each festival has its own particular customs.

Four years ago, Mataelpino changed its traditional “Running of the Bulls” to a more modern “Running of the Balls”, a similar event but featuring 2 giant 125 kilogram Styrofoam balls instead of actual bulls. Mataelpino is the first town in the country to hold a “running of the balls”!

Boloencierro (ball run) is a made-up term which combines the Spanish words for bowling ball and the term used for the running of the bulls. The event sees participants being chased down the sloping streets of Mataelpino by huge Styrofoam balls rolling at great speeds.

Spanish schools in Madrid – see more about AIL Madrid

The village’s financial woes have been eased by the switch, as authorities are in talks with various companies interested in sponsoring the run in exchange for putting their logo on the balls.

Although Pamplona’s San Fermin bull runs are the most famous internationally, there are many towns and villages in Spain, Portugal and some parts of South America that have their own “encierros” (bull run). Some have no official age limit and injuries and casualties are not uncommon.

Boloencierro (ball runs) are fun for all the family and a great alternative for the growing number of people who oppose bullfighting and bull runs.

Mataelpino has an ongoing dispute between those who want to have bull runs and bullfights and those who want the traditions to disappear for good. There is a growing opposition within Spain to sporting events and festivals involving bulls.

Visit a local school partner’s website (http://www.spanishinnature.com) where you can Study Spanish in Madrid and enjoy the running of the balls summer festival. Enjoy the Spanish school’s activities, festival and customs while you study Spanish there as well!

Do You Want to Learn Chinese? Travel to China!

Learn Chinese

Travel to ChinaLearn Chinese

How long will it take to learn Chinese in China?

  • written by: Cintia Morello

Of all the places you can learn Chinese, there’s no doubt that learning it in the traditional land of origin where it’s spoken as the official language (with an unbeatable natural flair, mind you), is the best place to be for it. In China, you will find a stimulating environment to start your incredible journey of mastering this rich and colorful language. The road to learning the Chinese language isn’t necessarily a long one, and when you’re in China, you’ll be able to get the hang of it even more quickly than you think.

For a person with an average language learning aptitude, it can take a good couple of years to progress from beginner to gaining fluency in the language. Being in China to learn the language certainly has its advantages, and will no doubt, make the learning experience much easier and more enjoyable.

Here are some of the reasons why it’s the place to go if you want to learn Chinese:

Learn Chinese in China at one of our partner schools

1. Learn everywhere

Learning Chinese in China means that your development of the language will definitely extend beyond the textbook or classroom. In fact, anywhere you go or step out, you can expect to get a lesson in Chinese – because that’s the language that’s spoken by the people living there of course. You’re able to sit down and apply yourself in learning the language, and then go out then and practice in real life. Day to day interactions, from going to the markets, taking transport or visiting local attractions, will give you the opportunity to try out the language with the locals.

2. Consolidate your language skills

Being in China is really the best way to learn and consolidate your language skills – by immersing yourself in the language and picking up verbal skills and expressions from the streets. Plus, you get real time feedback from the locals – if they understand what you’re saying, that’s a good sign! (But don’t be put off if they show confused faces – that’s definitely part of the learning process too – you get to go back and find out what you actually said to them!)

3. Learn from the best

Learn ChineseIn China, you can rest assured that you’ll be taught by teachers well skilled in the language. Everyone in the country speaks the language, (so in a way, everyone’s an expert), then that makes the teachers even more exceptional. You can get taught the traditional language in a classroom environment with teachers who will be able to accommodate your language learning every step of the way. The Chinese language teaching you get will have a thorough and authentic approach, and will provide you with a quality learning experience that you won’t get anywhere else.

4. Experience the culture

You will also be able to experience the amazing culture of the country while learning the language. You can get to know the Chinese people, their traditions and customs, and something as basic but so interesting as what daily life is like in different parts of the country. The names of food, festivals and places are all in Chinese. You can learn Chinese while discovering the culture – they go hand in hand.

5. Explore China

Now that we’ve established that learning can also take place outside the classroom and basically anywhere, that’s the perfect excuse to explore the country and discover its many attractions and activities.

A great place to learn Chinese is Changchun of the Jilin Province, which also happens to be home to a myriad of interesting sites. Changchun houses one of the three remaining imperial palaces of the country, and it’s called the Puppet Manchurian Palace Museum.

If you’re an avid nature lover, then the Diaoshuihu Scenic Area has incredible caves, mountains, forests and the Diaoshuihu Waterfall that is needless to say, a worthwhile place to visit. Apart from Changchun, another great destination for learning Chinese is Harbin in the Heilongjiang Province. Harbin’s ice and snow are famous, with its epic Ice and Snow World, as well as exciting festivals such as the Harbin Ice and Snow Festival and the Ice Lantern Garden Tea Party. There’s much more to do in China of course, and if you’re focused in one place to learn, you can still go to other places to explore.

Being in the land where it was first spoken, and is spoken best, will be a constant motivation to learn Chinese. It will have you from knowing the basics to being fluent in the language in a shorter time than you would if you learnt it elsewhere. The learning experience is practical and immersive from day one during your time in China, where you get to communicate with the locals and improve your language skills day by day, and enjoy yourself with the culture and places while your’e at it.

Learn Japanese in the Land of the Rising Sun

  • written by: Lawrence Morello

Japan has a certain kind of mysticism about it. As one of the most beautiful countries in the world, it attracts tourists and students alike, making them believe that they will be part of something extraordinary. Most of the time those beliefs turn out to be true…

Japan is full of mesmerizing natural wonders. The mountains, the unique trees, the rivers and the seas, it is a naturally beautiful place with some of the most remarkable flora and fauna you will ever see. Learn Japanese in Kyoto

At the same time, those who have a more metropolitan outlook can also find their fortune in one of the big cities. Japan can offer the best of both worlds, the beauty of Mother Nature and the technological advancement of mankind, with all of its convenience and practicality being on full display. Not just the country itself, but its native language is quite famous as well, luring in adventurous people from all around the world.

Studying a language abroad

Learn Japanese at our Japanese schools in Japan

Living in a specific country in order to learn its language is not necessary. Just because you live in America, you can easily learn Japanese and vice-versa. With that said, achieving those goals in the place where people actually grew up to speak that particular language holds several advantages. On top of that, those advantages are both practical and spiritual. See, speaking a language is not just about being able to express an intention or a feeling in a specific way. Language is more than just a way of expression, it is also an essential part of our culture, a way of life if you like.

If you can learn a language in the country in which it is spoken, you will develop a better (and certainly deeper) understanding of it. The other standpoint is a more a practical one, and probably a little bit psychological as well. A lot of us tend to procrastinate. If you want to learn a language in the country it is spoken, procrastinating becomes borderline impossible. Say you want to learn Japanese and you go to Tokyo. In that city, you will be confronted with the fact that you have to learn that language every hour of your waking existence.

Unless you are sleeping, you will be reminded of the fact that you cannot yet speak it. Anywhere you go, you’ll come to this realization. Whether you will have an errand to run or you’ll need to buy a new computer, you won’t be able to achieve your goals without practicing your language skills in the process. When you are confronted with this fact even during the most mundane tasks, you will find a new level of motivation that previously seemed inconceivable.

Everything is easier with friends

Once you develop some friendships, this is when the process can really gain traction. Say you enrolled into a Japanese school. Until you meet people and develop some friendships, learning the language in a fun way will be pretty much restricted to movies and music. Let’s be honest, not many of us enjoy the conventional way of learning. When we learn unconsciously while having fun, now that is an experience everybody wants. How can you achieve that, you ask? Finding friends is one of the better ways of doing it. They won’t just help you with learning the language with simply chatting, but you will likely develop relationships that will last for the rest of your life.

The Kyoto experience

The birthplace of many Japanese cultural traditions, Kyoto offers you a slice of the real Japan.

The country’s heritage is safely guarded in the city that served as the capital of the empire for more than a 1000 years.

A much more compact place compared to Tokyo, Kyoto is ideal for those who love nature and don’t want to live in the heart of a metropolis. There, you can learn Japanese in a more peaceful environment where there aren’t as much distractions.

Learn Japanese in TokyoTokyo, the metropolis

Living in a huge city like Tokyo has its pros and cons. Those who love the swarming environment only a megacity can offer, will obviously love it. From a language standpoint, Tokyo will – without a doubt – offer more “sink or swim” moments.

Being surrounded by millions of people speaking it, in Tokyo one simply has to practice their language skills. Finding quality language teachers is also easier, although their sheer number could make the selection process tougher. All in all, if you like the vibe only a big city can offer, choosing Tokyo to spend some time in and learn Japanese is one of the better decisions you can make.

Learn Japanese in Tokyo at one of our partner schools!

Learn Spanish & Speak Spanish with Natives

Where should I study Spanish abroad?

By: Lawrence Morello

Studying Spanish abroad in Spanish speaking nations facilitates a better understanding of the Spanish language for sure. But again, all Spanish speaking nations do not provide equal opportunities for people who want to learn Spanish. Research indicates that South America remains one of the perfect destinations for people intending to study Spanish.study spanish in costa rica

Variations in the Spanish language

Like the English language, spoken Spanish language varies from one country to another. It’s therefore important to know the Spanish style spoken in various countries before making a choice on where to look for an institution to help you in learning Spanish.

The Spanish used in Spain is known as Castilian Spanish. It’s the closest version to the Spanish being taught in American schools. Students who are not quite confident with their foreign language abilities prefer what is commonly known as text-book style Spanish that is mostly used in Madrid as well as other major cities found in Spain. There are also several variations that are recognized throughout Spain. For instance the Catalan language remains the dominant tongue acknowledged in Barcelona

Study Spanish in Madrid at this school!

The Spanish that is used in Costa Rica can easily be understood by foreigners. Even though 10% of the Costa Rican population speaks English, it’s not commonly spoken outside the tourist destinations. Students will most likely be excited to improve their Spanish skills in Costa Rica

Study Spanish in Costa Rica at this school!

The Spanish language spoken in Argentina is quite complicated because of its unique pronunciation, intonation and grammar. This makes it difficult for the scholars to understand but again they enjoy the challenge. Argentina’s large population lends several slangs and accents spoken throughout the country. The Italian language influence is also felt here because of Argentina’s European influence.

Study Spanish in Argentina at this school!

Top subjects by destination

Spain Study Spanish in Spain

While it’s compulsory to study Spanish for students who study abroad in Argentina, Costa Rica or Spain, each country has its strong points in numerous other subjects also. As one of the most common destinations for American students who are studying abroad, Spain remains one of those countries that offer courses to students who have no Spanish language proficiency.

Apart from extra-curricular activities like Spanish dances, Spanish cooking as well as flamenco guitar, other complementary subjects in Spain using the Spanish language include;

  • Politics
  • History
  • Art
  • Communication
  • Business

Costa Rica

Because of being the greenest country in the world, Costa Rica remains the best location for students intending to do environmental studies. Finding English classes in Costa Rica is more difficult as compared to the Spanish language. Students who study Spanish in Costa Rica will always find the courses mentioned below beneficial. These courses include;

  • Conservation
  • Botany
  • Geology
  • Ecology
  • Wildlife or marine biology
  • Environmental science

Argentina

Because of having the best universities in South America, Buenos Aires is amongst the top 10 cities to learn Spanish. Here they have several universities; this gives the students an opportunity to choose the best university for studying Spanish amongst them. Spanish study programs for Spanish speakers are easily found here at all levels. Argentina’s diverse geography and unique past makes it an ideal destination for students willing to study the following subjects;

  • International business
  • Latin American studies
  • Architecture
  • History

The Right Cultural Fit

Spain

Spain is home to the siesta, and countless festivals that include Semana Santa, Festival de San Fermín and La Tomatina. Here they have a population of proud students and extroverted individuals who enjoy larger crowds and lots of jokes. Spain’s institutions will always get an adventurous and enjoyable experience.

Students who take advantage of the bike share systems when exploring local sights will always find Spain enjoyable. Even though larger cities are pricier because of the pressure of taking part in night life, the affordability of studying in Spain will be dependent on your lifestyle

Costa Rica

For students who want to enjoy life to the fullest, Costa Rica is the most preferred destination. Students can spend their free time visiting night clubs, playing soccer or learning to surf. Because of Costa Rica’s small size, transportation is more affordable here.

Home stays amongst students are very common here because there is limited housing for university students even though renting apartments for international students is another viable option as well

Argentina Study Spanish in Argentina

Argentina is also another ideal option for international students studying Spanish. It’s a good destination for those operating on a pocket friendly budget. Argentina has a strong economy and is a perfect option for students with Latin and European roots.

While most Spanish students opt for home stays, several universities in Argentina offer residences or dormitories for students studying Spanish.

Last, but not least, ensure that you look for any institution that teach Spanish and is recognizable by the state so that you can be taught how to speak Spanish in the best appropriate manner.

Confused?

Can Alzheimer’s Disease be Delayed by Learning Languages?

By: Cynthia Arias

Alzheimer’s disease can claim your memories, make you forget the ones that you love, the precious moments that you lived, make you forget everything until there is nothing else there…

Science advances fast and maybe in a not too far away future, mental degenerative diseases will be a thing of the past. But in the meantime, a study carried out for Ellen Bialystok, a psychologist at York University in Toronto, suggests that bilingual speakers hold Alzheimer’s disease at bay for an extra four years on average compared to people that just speak one language. School-level language skills that you use on holiday may even improve brain function to some extent.

She said switching between different languages seems to stimulate the brain so that it builds up a cognitive reserve. “It is rather like a reserve tank in a car. When you run out of fuel, you can keep going for longer because there is a bit more in the safety tank.”

The bilingual patients had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s about four years later than the monolingual patients, on average, according to Bialystok’s most recent study, published in November in the journal Neurology.

This suggests bilingualism is “protecting older adults, even as Alzheimer’s is beginning to affect cognitive function,” Bialystok said.

So being bilingual will help your brain to keep sharper longer, it would be like going to the gym every day for your brain. With this information at hand, everybody should try to learn a new language, and if you get the chance  of  study that language in the country of origin, even better, you will enjoy a new cultural experience and your brain will come back home looking like  Swartzenager in the 80s!

So if you have made-up your mind and want to learn a new language abroad go to www.allabout-languages.com and we will get you on your path to do it.

florence

Anno nuovo, vita nuova! – Instituto Galilei

Anno nuovo, vita nuova! 

See the school page here: http://www.allabout-languages.com/italy/institute-galilei/

New year, new life – that is what Italian people say on January 1st.

If you still haven’t found your New Year’s resolution, what about learning the Italian language or enrolling in one of our Italian culture courses?

Do you already know some Italian? We will do our best to create for you an exclusive personalized study program in order to helping you improve your knowledge. If you are a complete beginner our teachers will customize your study program in order to enable you to build a solid linguistic basis that will allow you to reach the best results at the end of the course.

In our courses you might also learn some typical Italian and Tuscan expressions. Every region, yet every city, has its own common sayings. Especially in Tuscany and of course in Florence, people use a great variety of these expressions during everyday life. A lot of them are related to food and kitchen, two of the most important aspects of Italian culture.

Have you ever heard the expression “Fritta l’è bona anche una ciabatta.”?

Literally it means that even a slipper turns out delicious when it is fried!

Actually there are a lot of fried Tuscan dishes you should try: fried porcini mushrooms, fried bread balls (coccoli), fried vegetables…

Do you want to learn more about typical expressions and Italian culture and language?

Taking one of our Italian language courses, you will discover not only the language but also the Italian culture.

Our Italian language courses are all individual or small group courses. Our course programs can be customized according to your wishes, this means you will be able to choose the aspects to focus on.

Our school is open all year round and we also offer weekend crash courses for those who wish to experience a full immersion in Italian language. These courses are intensive and can include lunch or dinner at the restaurant with the teacher.

Take advantage of our special offers. You will get 5% discount for enrollment in all our individual courses from January 26th to January 30th.

Furthermore, during the months of February and March 2015 we offer a 10% discount for enrolments in all courses.

And for those who would like to combine a language course with a culture course, we offer a 10% discount on the total courses’ fees.

Feel free to choose among our courses: Italian cooking, Art history, Drawing&Painting, History of Florence, Italian literature or Photography.

After the crowded holiday season, you will be able to enjoy the streets of Florence in a quieter atmosphere taking full advantage of your cultural trip!