Planning things to see and do around your language studies
Going on a language learning trip might be the perfect way for you to learn a foreign language.
What are the 9 steps I use to organise a language learning trip?
In this blog post series, I will outline the 9 steps I use to plan and go on a language learning trip.
Not sure on how to select a language school? Read Step 4 – how to choose a language school
Step 7 – Planning things to see and do on your language learning trip
What can you fit in around your language studies? One of the best things about going on a language learning trip is being able to use your new language skills out in ‘the real world’!
I love planning a trip that involves lots of language learning and immersion in a new culture PLUS time to explore a new destination.
Planing things to see and do on your language learning trip. What can you do on your language learning trip?
Food and market tours
Many destinations are rightly proud of their cuisine. What better way to get an insight into a new culture than by exploring the cuisine? You could construct your own food and market tours or join a paid tour. Either way you can have the chance to taste some amazing new flavours and use your new language skills to order and ask questions of the stall holders.
We did a fantastic street food tour in Ho Chi Minh City with Saigon Street Eats.
If you like exploring a new city by foot, a walking tour could be the best option. Most large cities offer paid (or sometimes free) walking tours of the main sights, and you can often go on your own walking tour. A lot of the guidebooks have walking tours mapped out and you could pick on the places you want to visit or just head out the door and see where you end up!
Are you interested in the history of the country you’ve chosen? We can learn so much about a new destination by getting to understand the history of the place.
Hiking. Bird watching. Photography. Surfing. Cycling. Depending on your interests, your language learning destination may have it covered! If nature-based activities are a big reason for your trip, do your research before choosing your language learning destination to make sure places to hike or cycle or surf are nearby. There may be tours or clubs you can join too – so check out some of the local blogs to see what’s happening.
If you are a foodie, taking part in a cooking class could be rewarding. We’ve done a private cooking class in Hoi An, Viet Nam and cooked up the dishes yourself gives you some good perspective on preparation techniques and ingredients. It also gives you an insight into your favourite flavours so you know what to order when you are out next!
Do you love ticking off the big ticket attractions in a destination? Depending on where you are staying for your language learning immersion, there might be loads of big attractions to check out. We didn’t make it up Taipei 101 (once the tallest building in the world) but we could see the massive building from most places in the city. In some cities, such as Beijing, so many of the attractions are ‘big sights’ they are hard to miss!
Temples, museums, galleries and theatre performances all add so much to an immersive language learning experience. Will you have time to spend some time checking out some of the cultural aspects of your destination?
If you spend some time chatting informally to locals in your destination, your language confidence will shoot up! If you are studying through a university program you will most likely have access to a language exchange program. It may be trickier to set up a language exchange for a shorter period of time, but if you are interested definitely mention it to your language school as they may know somewhere you do some additional practice.
Usually, in a language exchange you will chat half of your time in your native language and half in that of the language you are learning (in China I did English – Mandarin Chinese language exchange). Language exchanges should be free, as both participants are benefitting. Tutoring is another option where you can pay for conversation practice in your target language.
If you’re travelling with children, finding great activities and attractions that meet their needs will be high on your agenda. In our recent trip to Taipei, we went to many parks and a fantastic kids cafe. Taipei Zoo was another big hit with Lingo Bubba. Find specific children related websites and blogs for your destination to get some tips on where to take your kids.
What would you choose to see and do in around your language studies?
Let me know below!
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Until next time,