Do you have a plan to go to the United States or Canada to learn English? Maybe you went to other countries to study languages already. Every winter vacation, lots of students get aboard a plane to develop their language skills. According to a survey released by the National Institute for International Education Development, the number of adult students studying abroad in 2007 was 217,959 which is an increase of 14.5percent over those of 2006 at 190,364. Sometimes there is a down side to going abroad to learn a language—such as being a waste of time or money. However, if you make a plan well before going to a foreign country and study hard there, you can improve your language skills dramatically. Also, you can cultivate social skills and broaden your point of view as well.
To spend a successful time in language training, here is some advice for you to keep in mind.
Characteristics of countries for studying abroad
-The United States of America
* Developed and good distribution of facilities attached to university as well as private facilities
* The best country for a student who aims for long term studying abroad or academic degree programs
* Self confidence of studying in an economic giant
* Well organized Internship and dormitory
* Too many Korean people
* High living expenses in big city
* Various English programs are established
* Very clear North American pronunciation
* Pleasant environment and kind natives
* Learning English until 6months through a tourist visa
* Effective English learning programs compared to the cost
* Lots of Korean people
* Remarkably cold whether
* Narrow range of regions providing English learning programs
-the United Kingdom
* Learning British English
* Fewer Korean students
* Available foreign student work with high pay
* Easy to travel other European countries
* Skillful English teachers and systematic program
* Relatively expensive tuition
* Unfamiliar pronunciation
* Hard to get U.K. visa
* Mild Mediterranean climate and nice beach environment
* Huge number of European students
* Relatively cheap tuition
* Not famous to Korean students
* Centralization of English learning facilities and universities
* Lack of English education facilities
* Easy to get visa and make extension
* Cheaper prices of commodities than U.K.
* Fewer Korean students
* Irish pronunciation
* Beautiful environment
* Available work for foreign students
* Small population
* Few cultural facilities
* Difficult to get a job
* Cheaper tuition than Australia
* Mild weather for living well
* Well-organized public security
* Blessed environment and nice natives
* Somewhat boring because of not advanced culture
* Many documents required for student visa
* Lack of English learning facilities
* Easy process of getting working and student visa
* Available jobs for foreign students and affordable cost of living
* Cheaper cost of living than the U.S.A., U.K. and Canada
* Safe and clean educational environment
* Diverse English learning programs (hotel, business and management diploma)
* Lots of Korean people
* Many temptations—such as resorts
If you don’t want to go to these countries to develop your English ability, please pay attention to this information. Recently, the Philippines has become popular as a great place to learn English. You can see many advertisements attached to the wall about English education institutes of the Philippines. You may not be familiar with the Philippines. However, there are some good things about studying English in the Philippines rather than Western countries. The Philippines is great for beginners to get over of their fear of speaking English and gain an interest in English.
As well, unlike other countries such as U.K. or Canada, you can get one-to-one education without paying a lot of money. Also, there is an economical advantage, too. In the Philippines, the cost of four weeks tuition is just about 100 dollars; on the other hand, in western countries, it is at least 200 dollars. Some people are worried about the Philippine style of pronunciation which is somewhat different from other places. However, you don’t have to be concerned about that. Since many students go to the Philippines for a short period, Philippine-style pronunciation doesn’t affect to your pronunciation greatly.
When you make up your mind to go abroad to learn English, first of all, you have to choose which visa you will apply for. Visas are divided to many kinds according to purpose of visit, visiting period and so on. There are many kinds of visa and they are different for each country.
1. Visitor visa
A tourist visa is for people who want to travel, visit family or visit for business. Usually, people get this visa from an embassy. Also, in some places, there is ‘no-visa entry’ which means you don’t have to be issued visa. You could enter into a country by having an interview at the airport and getting a tourist permit in your passport.
The popular country which you can go with tourist visa is the U.S.A.. Other countries such as the Philippines, Canada, Australia and New Zealand don’t require you to have a tourist visa. A term, tourist visa, is used to distinguish between a person on vacation and a working holiday visa.
2. Working holiday visa
You can work and travel with this kind of visa. This system allows people to work to finance their travel expenses under the purpose of promoting mutual understanding with other countries. It is a mutually beneficial system between the two countries and Korea conducts this system with Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. This visa could be issued to people between the ages of 18 and 30 and the available period is 12 months.
3. Student visa
This visa is for people who are focused on their studies. Usually, they stay abroad for over six months. In addition, entering a local university and admission is possible with a student visa. In the U.K., you have to get student visa when you will study English for over six months and, in Australia, for over three months.
There are three ways to live in foreign countries when you go to learn English: home stay, dormitory and rent.
1. Home stay
You can experience local culture while living with local people. Also, it is much cheaper than living in dormitory. However, there are some rules that you have to follow when you do homestay. In addition, it is important to consider the distance between your school and new home.
You can live in dormitory of university private establishment or English institute attached to a university. As well, living in a dormitory allows you to meet many local students and experience foreign university’s culture. Not only that, but also you can feel more freedom than homstay and it is much safer since dormitories have university police patrolling students.
Rent is another option when you stay in other country. When you rent a house or apartment, you’d better have a roommate to save money. In addition, if you have a reliable roommate, you can enjoy your life better. Unlike a dormitory, renting is much more comfortable and you can have more space. Depending on the location, the cost of housing differs. Therefore you have to choose carefully which house you will stay.
Here are some tips for students who want to go abroad to learn English:
* You can find a lot of information about different institutes in foreign countries where you wish to visit. There are many small academies which are unpopular in Korea, but popular there. So, if you really want to choose the institute which specializes in the thing that you want, it’s better to choose the academy there. In addition, you can audit before making up your mind as to which institute you will attend.
* Don’t spend more than three months in any single institute because you could get bored of the same people and environment. Many students pay for one year programs because of cheaper tuition. However, some of them regret making that decision. Therefore, attending numerous institutes is better for you to promote your English skill and enjoy foreign lifestyles.