Whatever your reasons for moving abroad – retirement in the sun, the opportunity to enhance your career or the pursuit of a more fulfilling lifestyle – you are sure to have a moving abroad checklist to help you prepare for life in another country. If you are relocating to a country where another language is spoken, the most important thing you can do is learn the language: even the basics will make a huge difference to your experience.
Moving Abroad Checklist: Learn the Language!
5 reasons to learn a language before you move abroad
- Knowing some of the language before you arrive will give you the skills and confidence you need from the very moment you set foot in your new location; knowing that you are prepared will also make the run up to your move less stressful. If you have children, this is just as important to help them adjust to a new life abroad.
- Taking language classes before you leave will help you to learn about the culture of your host country, too – from popular music and typical foods to cultural etiquette and greetings – thereby reducing culture shock when you arrive.
- There are many ways to learn a language before you move abroad, so you can pick the method that suits you best (or combine a few): evening language courses in 19 locations across the UK, private language tuition or a language course abroad.
- You may need to sort out housing, banking, schooling and other essentials before you arrive in your new country, and some knowledge of the language will vastly help with this. Depending on where you are moving to, you cannot always rely on the locals to speak English.
- Leaving loved ones behind can make any move abroad a little harder. By learning some of the language before you go, you are giving yourself the best chance of making friends in your new environment: meaningful exchanges with the locals will then help you to feel settled, and a smooth cultural transition is proven to maintain psychological happiness. Then all you need is to install Skype to call friends back home!
5 reasons to continue classes once you are there
- Learning a language in situ is a great way to meet people. Whether you want to take private language training in your home or office, or take an in-country language course at a local school, you will be making contacts and perhaps longer-term friends.
- Having a language course set up when you arrive will provide some consistency and routine in an unfamiliar environment. It will also make you feel good that you are doing something positive – all of which will help you to settle in quickly.
- Taking classes in-country is an excellent way to learn the local accent and the specific vocabulary of that country, which will help you to feel and sound more like a local.
- If you are emigrating with your family, your children will likely be immersed in the language and pick it up quickly. Show them an example by learning it too – and because you don’t want to be left behind!
- If you are relocating for work, language classes can be invaluable in keeping you up-to-date with important business language, familiarising yourself with business etiquette and helping you to establish successful business relationships. Knowledge of the language is a key factor in making the experience positive for everyone involved.
Visit Cactus at the Expat Show in London at London Olympia on September 11th-12th. We will give you a FREE language needs analysis and a £50 voucher towards any language course.
Cactus Language Training is a leading provider of private and corporate language training. We specialise in language training for relocation – in any language, anywhere in the world.