Why Immerse Yourself Abroad?
So we've determined that foreign language immersion programs are the key to linguistic success. Perhaps now you're thinking "language immersion sounds great, but where should I go?"
Countries around the world have their own language immersion programs, which act as little language colonies in which the language spoken is different from that of the rest of the country. For example, Middlebury College in the United States has six-week summer language colonies in which English is prohibited, Canada has numerous English / French immersion programs and the tiny village of Valdelavilla, Spain is home to the Pueblo Inglés (English Village), a program for Spaniards who want to learn English in which 20 Spaniards and 20 English speakers live and speak entirely in English for for a week.
These immersion "colonies" are an excellent option for many reasons, namely proximity to home and fewer travel expenses. So if you have a language immersion program near your home, why opt instead for immersion abroad? Well, to begin, while language colonies like at Middlebury College or Pueblo Español are only offered during the summer, in-country language schools are generally open all year round, meaning you can go when it's best for you! The real reason, however, essentially boils down to one word: adventure!
Immersion abroad not only provides total linguistic immersion, but it also gives you the unique opportunity to experience first-hand the surrounding community and culture. You'll get to sample new foods, visit historic sites, get a feel for the atmosphere, meet plenty of people, enjoy local festivals and traditions, pick up colloquial expressions and maybe even learn a few steps of traditional dances. Immersion abroad is the perfect way to learn, study and improve language skills without feeling like you're back in grammar school.