Language Learning

Frances Chang

"I decided to study abroad in Japan mainly to improve my Japanese language skills, so I chose a language intensive program and to live with a host family. I knew I was a quiet and shy person when it came to learning a new language and living in a new culture. As much as I learned from my Japanese courses, I soon realized that in order to really improve, I needed to step out of my comfort zone and actually practice in real life. My host family was very patient with me and helped me with any question I had about Japanese culture or language. Although, at the beginning, there were some struggles in understanding each other, we still manage to get our message across. I started with an understanding of 30% of my host family's conversation to more than 70% at the end of the semester. Additionally, I also made local Japanese friends through joining the university choir, volunteer club, and language partner program. Most of the time, the people I have met wanted to learn English, so we helped each other with the language we wanted to learn. Through these interactions, I made friends who I still keep in contact with!" - Frances Chang ’16

Why should I take courses in another language when courses in English are available?
I’m nervous that I’m not ready.

What can I do before I go abroad?

PRACTICE!  Hearing the language really helps you develop an ear for it.

What can help ease the transition once I’m abroad?