Moving overseas often necessitates learning a foreign language as there is every possibility that the country to which your moving has a different language than that of your native tongue. While English is spoken throughout the world, the extent to which it is in use and understood will vary tremendously and in some countries you will find that language barriers are a big obstacle in your day-to-day life.
One of the most common tips our expatriate guide writers give to those who are planning a move abroad is to learn the language. If you are able to attempt conversation with the local people you will have a much better chance of integrating and feeling more at home. Intercultural specialists throughout the world all agree that gaining an understanding of your host country’s language will also enable you to better understand the culture and customs of the people. Furthermore, learning a foreign language will give you more confidence and help you to feel more at home.
If you are a trailing spouse, having some knowledge of the local language before you arrive can help you to find a place for yourself in the expat destination. A basic level of communication can help you to deal with problems better and will also improve your chances of finding suitable work. Continuing lessons while living abroad can offer a social opportunity for you to meet new people who are in a similar position to you and make the whole process much more fun.
In many destinations expats survive extremely well without any knowledge of the local language. However, it is always worthwhile to try something new and having at least a little knowledge of the language before you arrive can make sure you get the most out of your experience abroad. This section contains a great deal of practical information about methods of learning a new language together with practical tips that can help your studies. It also contains information on raising bilingual children, providing you with hints and tips for how you may assist their development while they are learning a foreign language.