Learning French while living abroad: what to do?
Best techniques to learn French while living abroad
Learning French is a real asset. After all, it is one of the most spoken languages in the working world. In addition, you will probably communicate in French if you go abroad and do not know the language of the country you are going to. Unfortunately, however, learning a language is not immediate. It takes time, especially if you are learning on your own. The best way to learn a foreign language is through immersion in a foreign country. The advantage of French is that it is spoken in many different countries, which gives you a wide choice of destinations. Here are some good techniques for learning French while living abroad!
Participate in a university exchange
If you are a student and want to go abroad for a short period of time to discover a new country, a new culture and of course, improve your language skills, then a university exchange is for you. Thanks to the exchange programs, you have the possibility to go for 6 months or 1 year in another country while continuing your university education. The Erasmus program is the best known and has already sent nearly 4 million students abroad since its creation 30 years ago! In addition, many scholarships are available to help students study abroad.
What if, instead of just going away for a few months or a year, you did all or part of your university studies abroad? Doing a full degree abroad is an excellent opportunity to differentiate yourself on the job market. In addition, several years abroad will help you better understand the subtleties of the language and improve your pronunciation. Finally, you should know that as a foreign student who does not go through an exchange program, you also have access to scholarships.
Doing an internship abroad
As part of your studies, you may be asked to do an internship to validate your year. Have you ever thought about doing it abroad? In addition to being an excellent professional springboard, it is a great way to gain a first experience abroad while improving your language skills. It is also a way to build a network of friends and colleagues. Finally, from a personal point of view, it is the ideal way to boost your self-confidence. In addition, state aid is also available to help you finance your stay.
Becoming an au pair
If you do not wish to study abroad or if you would rather integrate and learn by working, a very simple solution is to become an au pair. The expression "au pair" is used as such all over the world. It refers to a young person (man or woman) under the age of thirty who goes abroad as part of a cultural exchange. The au pair is provided with food and lodging in exchange for an activity with the children of the family with whom he or she lives.
Obtaining a visa with the Working Holiday Program (WHP)
If you are not interested in taking care of children, you can turn to the Working Holiday Program (WHP). This program allows you to obtain a visa for a period of a few months to a year (or even two depending on the country), which gives you the opportunity to travel while having the right to work to finance your stay. It also has the advantage of being fairly simple to obtain. It is the ideal experience for those who have the soul of an adventurer, and it is a very enriching experience personally, culturally, and professionally.
Do a Volontariat International à l'Etranger (VIE)
If the WHP seems too adventurous or you are afraid to take the plunge because your French skills are a little weak, then you can try volunteering. The VIE (Volontariat International à l'Etranger) allows you to work in a French company abroad. This means that you will probably speak French (and French) but you will be in a secure environment, under the aegis of the French Embassy while gaining professional experience and improving your language skills.
Finally, you will receive a stipend during your volunteering to help finance your stay.
If, however, going to immerse yourself in a French-speaking country is not feasible for reasons of time, finances, personal obligations, etc., it is always possible to take an French course. At Wall Street French, we offer French courses in an entirely French-speaking environment. Discover our method!