Common Myths About Studying English Abroad
Are you considering the possibility of studying English abroad but doubts are preventing you from taking the plunge? Don't let common misconceptions stand between you and what can be one of the most rewarding and memorable experiences in your life. In this article, we explore and debunk 9 widespread myths about studying English abroad.
Myth #1 - It’s too expensive
Reality: Studying abroad is a lot more affordable than you might think.
Prices may vary depending on the destination, course type and length, and your chosen accommodation option. With a little planning, you should be able to find the program that fits both your study goals and budget perfectly. For example, living with a host family might be less expensive than living in a residence, and expenses in a small city will be lower than in a fancy capital. Check airplane tickets to see which destinations are the most affordable from your home country and make sure to book in advance to get the best price. Once you've arrived, make sure to check which discounts are available for students. Check out some more cost-saving tips for studying abroad.
Myth #2 – I can easily learn English by myself
Reality: Total immersion in the language and learning with teams of experts can make the process faster, more comfortable, and more fun!
Nowadays there are plenty of resources to practice English on your own, without even having to leave the house. English movies, TV series, books, and websites will help you to learn basic vocabulary and grammar, especially if you have a good sense of discipline and self-control. However, there is no equal to immersion in an English-speaking environment, guidance from experienced teachers, and constant practice with fellow students and locals.
Myth #3 – Studying abroad is for young students
Reality: It's never to late to develop your skills or travel the world, so why not do both at the same time?
Travelling, meeting new people, and exploring new places is exciting at any age. Knowing English, as well, can benefit you at any stage of your life. For those focused on their career, the language will help broaden professional horizons and bring new opportunities for career growth, while others will be able to feel comfortable and confident when travelling abroad. Our schools in London and Liverpool even offer special courses for students over 25 who want to study with like-minded people interested in business and academic topics.
Myth #4 – I will feel lonely if I go abroad
Reality: Studying abroad is an amazing way to make lifelong friends from all over the world.
While you might feel anxious about stepping outside your comfort zone and heading to a country where you don't yet know anyone, you will make new friends very quickly. There will be plenty of opportunities for meeting people in your class, in the student residence, or during social activities after lessons. Remember, the vast majority of other students also come by themselves, so you will all be in the same position, looking to practice English and make friends.
Myth #5 - Individual lessons are more effective
Reality: The interactions and discussions you get in a small classroom setting are the perfect way to practice listening and speaking.
Individual tutoring is really useful, but it gives you fewer opportunities to practice English with other people. Group lessons allow you to engage in discussions, share experiences, and practice giving presentations in front of an audience. This expands your learning experience and enhances confidence in your speaking, listening and general communication skills. If you still want to have one-to-one lessons, you can always get them at school for an extra fee.
Myth #6 – Studying will take up all of my time
Reality: You can choose how much time you would like to spend in class, and even the most rigorous course gives you ample time to explore after class and on the weekend.
The schedule at language schools is arranged in a way that students have plenty of time left for sightseeing, visiting local attractions, restaurants and shops. We really want you to get the most of your time abroad, so we constantly organize extra-curricular activities, trips and entertainment. If you want to more free time, you can select a course with fewer teaching hours, such as Vacation English.
Myth #7 - It takes a long time to learn English
Reality: While it takes a long time to sound exactly like a native, you'd be amazed how quickly you can progress.
Of course there are always improvements that can be made when it comes to mastering a foreign language, but learning basic vocabulary and grammar rules for communicating in everyday situations can take less time than you think. Mastering a language depends on how often you are able to use it, so if you are speaking English everyday with your classmates and constantly interacting with locals, you will be fluent in no time!
Myth #8 – Intensive courses only give a temporary effect
Reality: When you continue to make an effort, your new language skills won't disappear.
If you have just started learning the language and do not practice systematically, you might forget what you have learned quite quickly. But once you get a good grip on basic skills and overcome the initial language barrier, the fundamentals of the English language will stick with you for a long time. Even after your course has finished, you can continue your learning at home by keeping in touch with your new friends from all over the world, communicating with foreign partners at work, or by simply reading books and watching movies in English.
Myth #9 – My parents will never let me go abroad
Reality: There are lots of reasons for your parents to do everything they can to let you study abroad.
Your parents might be anxious about letting you go abroad on your own or they might think it’s only about having fun and not worth the investment, but you can convince them to let you go by explaining all the professional, educational and personal benefits that such trip could give you. Check out our tips on how to convince your parents to let you study abroad for an inspiration of how to start a dialogue.