Going to your dream university abroad is the perfect start to a new chapter in any student’s life. You get to live through new experiences, meet new people, learn to live within a new culture. However this will come with its challenges. One of the biggest challenges you’ll face is overcoming the language barrier. 

Language barriers exist even for people who  speak the same language, since living, speaking and studying in another language is a completely new concept. It would take time to completely adapt to thinking in one language and speaking another, however this could get tiring. According to a 2020 research, language barriers can cause great stress among international students. 

The best way to overcome the language barriers of communication is to keep practicing. Don’t hold yourself back from opportunities and experiences just because you think your skills aren’t enough. 

1. Improve your language skills 

The best way to practice is by using language applications. There’s many free options out there, such as Duolingo and Memrise. You could also start listening to songs and watching movies in that language to accelerate your learning.

2. Socialize! 

Making friends with local students is the best way to introduce yourself to the culture and language. Communicating with your peers will help you understand and learn new phrases and words in the language and also will make it easier for you to navigate the area, and get to know the place you’ll be living in better. 

3. Join international student support groups

Most institutions will often have support groups, either a physical group or a digital platform where various international students can discuss their needs and issues. Being surrounded by people in the same boat as you can will make it easier to understand different perspectives and come up with ideas to overcome obstacles and barriers.

4. Take part in extracurriculars and activities! 

Participating in organizing events or team activities will allow you to communicate with a wide range of people, with different language skills, and allow you to learn from a broad diversity. This is great for building your vocabulary and understanding.

5. Be emotionally prepared.

The language barrier might at times be too great to overcome, and in such scenarios, you need to be prepared for various emotional challenges. You need to be able to laugh at yourself over silly mistakes and understand that making errors and messing up is a part of the overall learning process. You also need to be prepared for when this obstacle can cause miscommunication and misunderstandings, and know that differences will arise and it’s okay for them to come up. 

The most important thing that you cannot forget to do is to let loose and enjoy. Don’t let your problems and obstacles holding you back from taking in a rich educational and social experience from your study abroad. The memories you make here and the lessons you learn will be the ones to remember for the rest of your life, so learn to love the little things!