Studying abroad is an essential part of learning a new language (properly), but how do you know you’re ready to jump on a plane to start an adventure that will likely completely transform your life? To help you make that decision, we’ve put together a profile of what makes a person ready to tackle life overseas. If you scream ‘OH-EM-GEE, THIS IS SO ME’, then it’s time to dust off that passport of yours and hop on a plane to somewhere (but where, you ask? Well, we have suggestions for that too.)
1. You’re obsessed with TV shows/music/films from one country
Watching and listening to shows and music in the language you are studying (or want to study) is a great way to improve your fluency. But when it turns into an obsession, then it’s safe to assume that you need to pack your bags and experience your country crush in person.
2. You’re addicted to learning more
Super nerdy, we know, but you’re addicted. No bus, car, or train ride is complete without progressing a level or two on your favorite language learning app or reading a page or two of a book in that language. You’re on a mission to get better each day and spend all your time honing your skills and your accent.
3. You dream in another language
This is usually a privilege reserved for those who speak a language fluently, but when you’re so very ready to study abroad, the language finds a way to jump into your dreams.
4. You’re annoyed at only speaking one language
A wise man once said that the limit of someone’s language is the limit of their world, and you could not agree more. You’re so done with your one-language-world and the limits it places on your communication. There’s a world out there and you want to speak to it.
5. You’re all about the food from one particular country
Few things allow you to immerse in a new culture as much as food does. Your taste buds are pretty much already bilingual: You found all of the Japanese restaurants, Italian pizza parlors, or American burger joints within 100 miles. And when the staff knows your order, it’s time to experience the real deal.
6. Being curious and open-minded is your default setting
You’re fascinated by the world, intrigued by other cultures, and filled with questions about sights, sounds, and flavors from around the world. Getting lost in a new city sounds exciting and you cannot wait to be in a city where nobody knows you. You’re ready to explore every nook and cranny of the world – and learning a language is the first step to becoming a globetrotter extraordinaire.
7. You already know what activity and excursions to do
Google is your best friend – you’ve figured out subway maps, city tours, and the best angles to take a selfie in front of famous landmarks. You basically have an itinerary for the first week at your dream destination and it’s time to put that research to good use.
8. Everyone knows about your plans to study abroad
You’re so excited about your plan, you share it with the world. The bus driver, the mailman, your great aunt and the whole Internet – they all know that you’re going places. There’s nothing wrong with that: Sharing is caring, after all.
9. You want to experience life in another country
Language classes, apps, movies, podcasts, and culinary adventures are interesting and fun. But you know that immersion is where it’s at: The fastest way to learn a language and become fluent is to live it 24/7 by practicing with locals. Being concerned with making the most progress in the shortest amount of time only shows how mature and prepared you are. Go forth, language grasshopper, and explore the world!