Taking time to learn Arabic on the flight.
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Benefits of Language Study While Abroad

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Kimberly Manning

Learning a new language offers a myriad of benefits, which is why it’s one of the key program components of Where There Be Dragons gap year and study abroad programs. In general, language study improves cognitive ability, builds empathy, and empowers individuals to become global citizens. 

Chinese Language Lesson

Chinese Language Lessons in Kunming. Photo by Eric Jenkins-Sahlin.

3 Benefits of Language Study While Abroad

Developing language skills enables individuals to gain a widened perspective on new cultures and ways of life. Learning a new language in its country of origin offers a great opportunity for individuals to truly understand and engage with the community. 

Receive Daily Instruction in Small Groups

On language intensive programs, students receive 3-4 hours of daily language study with a small group. These courses serve as an opportunity to hone in on grammar and fluency. Small groups offer students the ability to study the lessons, ask questions, and engage in a collaborative environment. 

Travel Program in Guatemala

Spanish Lessons in Guatemala, Photo by Dave Haffeman, Dragons Administrator

Build Conversational Skills by Interacting with Locals

There’s no better way to develop language skills than through communication with those who speak it. During their homestays, students learn directly from their host family and practice what they study. Students are also encouraged to engage with the community and break down cultural barriers through honest and open communication with others. These moments in between often pose the biggest benefit.

Develop Cultural Context of Language

Among conversations with locals and community members, students are able to gain a cultural context of language and communication. These are skills and lessons that simply can’t be taught in a classroom. Cultural context amid language study also helps with building relationships, understanding social injustices, and cross-cultural competency. 

Language study helps students develop leadership skills as well as self-reliance and humility. Learn more about Where There Be Dragons program offerings and components to determine the opportunity that best serves you.

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