By: Derek Lock @ Vamos Academy
When traveling to any country to learn the local language, picking up the spoken dialect is just the first step of the process. Expanding your horizons by experiencing a different culture, and distinct ways of living from your own, is just as, if not more important. If you are learning Spanish, then you definitely have no shortage of choices for places to learn, as there are many Spanish speaking countries throughout the world. After finishing university in the Sacramento earlier this year, I knew I wanted to do something a bit more challenging than following the usual route of finding a job. Above all, I wanted to put myself out of my comfort zone and explore a new and exciting place. I have always wanted to learn another language, and after being told that the best possible way to learn a language is by immersing yourself in the culture, I decided to take a leap of faith, by moving to Buenos Aires, Argentina. Although I have been living here for over three years, I have travelled to many other Spanish speaking countries throughout my time here, as well as my time in college. I am going to write about my experiences in various spanish speaking destinations, and why I recommend studying abroad to achieve your language learning goals.
It challenges you to move outside your comfort zone
Nobody said that studying abroad was easy, but that should never discourage you from trying something new, in fact it should encourage you. The challenges that are presented when studying in a foreign country will help you acquire life skills that many people do not gain until much later in life, if ever. Many of these acquired skills go hand in hand with learning a language. For example, moving to a new country forces you out of your comfort zone, and helps you become comfortable with new experiences, which is something your brain will definitely need to get accustomed to when learning a new language, so, why not do both at the same time? One of the best destinations to do this would be in the beautiful city of Madrid, Spain. Between its rich renaissance history, unique neighborhoods, beautiful architecture and bustling nightlife, Madrid is the perfect place to begin your journey.
Get in touch with a new culture
One of the most important things you can do in life is immerse yourself in a foreign culture to your own. Experiencing new cultures and new ways of thinking is such an enriching experience, and pushes you to do things you may have never thought possible. For instance, you will probably try foods that would have never crossed your path, and embrace different attitudes and ways of thinking. Following our theme of thinking outside of the box, this will train your brain to think in new ways, as well as problem solving; a life skill that is absolutely essential when learning a new language. What better place to gain these skills than the beautiful Mexico City, Mexico. This culturally rich city with a beautifully unique heritage is the perfect place to step outside of your comfort zone and embrace a new culture.
Great career opportunities
As we all know, we are living in an increasingly globalized world, and employers really value prospective candidates with international experience. Studying abroad not only facilitates learning a new language, but also helps you to gain a much broader perspective and understanding of the world around you. When learning a new language, you also tend to think about things in a whole new way. This is based on the fact that the way your brain functions actually changes, and gives you the ability to see things in a whole new light. This is without a doubt one of the things all employers are looking for when hiring, and this will ultimately open the doors to many opportunities. Why not try your luck (better said, put your skills to the test) in the beautiful and bustling city of Barcelona. With its beautiful downtown business district, incredibly beautiful beaches, and fascinating european vibe, it is the perfect place to put your business and language skills into practice. Learn more about this city on vamospanish.com/barcelona/
In conclusion, life is short and when it comes to travel and discovering new places and cultures we must lose our fear, get out there and start exploring!