Do You Have to Learn a New Language to Work Abroad?

Posted by on Sep 13, 2011 in live abroad, moving abroad | No Comments

If you go abroad to work, you may have considered heading to a country which does not speak English. The language spoken in the country will play a large part in how you spend your time in the country, so it is something that you should consider before choosing your destination.

But how important is it really?

Benefits of an Country where English is the First Language

When you live in an English-speaking country, you may find that:

You are more comfortable in your new environment It is easier to get around You are able to find answers to your questions more easily It may be less effort to acclimatise Simple tasks like ordering food in a restaurant are not a problem You may get more enjoyment from trips to museums and the cinema

Benefits of a Country where English is Not the First Language

However, it has to be said that there are also many benefits to be had from living in a country which does not have English as its first language, including:

It can provide you with a more interesting time You may find your time in the country more of a challenge in a positive way Sometimes it can feel like you are escaping more from your life back home You may be less likely to spend time watching TV and more time out exploring You can learn a new language because you are more likely to pick it up with less effort, meaning you can return with a new skill

Why it Doesn’t Matter Which Language is Spoken

As you can see, there are benefits of both options. However, it essentially comes down to personal choice whether you want to live in a country which speaks English or not. If you are working abroad for clients back in your home country then it does not matter what language the country speaks because all your work will be in English.

So don’t feel you need to choose a country where English is spoken. You will have a very different experience, but it can be just as rewarding, or even more so, when you go to a non-English speaking country.

How to Prepare Yourself for a New Language

If you decide to go to a country where English is not the first language, it may be a good idea to learn some of the basics of the language in advance. This is likely to go down very well with the locals, and it can really help you to get by.

If you want to take it past the basics, try out an online course which you can do from your new home, such as Rosetta Stone. Whilst in your new location, try to make use of every opportunity to learn the language. Watch films, listen to the radio, read the signs and, most importantly, speak to new people as much as possible. This is the best way to learn a new language and you can meet some interesting people along the way, making your time in the country even more enjoyable.

Enjoy Your New Destination – Whatever the Language

It does not matter where you go to work, whether the country is English-speaking or not. However, don’t dismiss going to a country which does not speak English because you think it will be too difficult. It can add a lot to your experience and make it even more interesting, and the challenge can really be worth it.

You may even decide to learn the language and make it a hobby when you return, and this will make it a lot easier the next time you decide to go away, especially if you learn a language which is widely spoken like Spanish or French.

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