It’s coming to that time of year again...No, not Christmas, nor the end of exams, but rather a fun weekend involving your year abroad, your best mate/partner in crime/parents coming to visit and you’re not only looking forward to pretending to be a tourist in your new city (ahem, you’re now officially a local of course) but you’re also planning on doing loads of typical things with them. Going to cute little cafés, munching on local cuisine, visiting the [insert name of famous museum] together. Just one little hitch in the plan - they virtually do not speak any foreign tongue; yes and no are trying at the best of times, their pronunciation is totally off-key and regardless of how many times you have tried to teach them basic words, they can’t seem to muster them up on command. What to do? The weekend can’t just be you translating all the time, can it? That’s where these simple steps and hints come in...
Taking out an extra course during your time in France will mean you can practice something you’re interested in, with the locals - what better way to have fun whilst you’re learning, we say. With so many free hours, it’s easy to stuff yourself silly with choucroute and slurp on fine wine: and although that’s an equally beneficial way to improve your language (as long as you’re oohing and aahing with the Frenchies), you can also get another insight into the culture, the people and their habits.
From cooking courses to clown workshops, find your ideal way to pass the time here:
Spain is known for its dancing, its passion, its cooking and its sense of theatricality. If you are one of the lucky few who’s made it to the Iberian peninsula, you should think about taking out some extra classes to help you get to grips with this captivating culture. Whether you’re working or studying, there is bound to be something to suit your tastes and timetable. ¡Arriba!
For all you year abroad students preparing to enter into or continue a long-distance relationship, things are not as bad as they seem. With cheap (surprise) flights, quick international postage, mail order flowers, spontaneous romantic gestures and a healthy dose of trust and infatuation, you'll sail through. But, believe me, nothing makes a long-distance more manageable than Skype.
Here's an infographic to illustrate how developments in technology have made life a whole lot easier for long-distance couples...
Caitlin Hardee, about to finish her year abroad in Berlin, works as a student journalistic on her college newspaper back home. On her year abroad, she chose to make the most of her time away by improving her writing experience by working on independent papers and sites. Here are her top tips to how it's done!