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How to Practice English When You Travel Abroad

When you travel to an English-speaking country—on holiday or to study—you might think that you’ll be fluent by the end of your trip. 

Unfortunately, it’s not that easy!

Yes, it’s helpful to be in a place where English is the official language, but you also have to help yourself.

Let’s discuss some tips to build your English skills while you’re travelling.

Surround Yourself with English

While you’re abroad, you should avoid speaking your first language. But on top of that, you should find opportunities to speak English as much as possible. Doing this will really enhance your skills. 

But how can you find those opportunities? 

Volunteer

Try volunteering at a local event: Go online and check your host city’s event calendar to find upcoming events you can help with. For example, maybe you could hand out water at a marathon or give directions to visitors at a festival. 

By volunteering, you’ll get the chance to chat with other volunteers as well as people attending the event. 

Work

If you’re going to be in your host country for a few months or longer, consider getting a part-time job (if you have a work permit). If you’re able to do this, you’ll meet all sorts of people and you’ll be able to practice English in everyday situations. 

Join

You could also join a meet-up group. There are all sorts of groups, so you can probably find one that’s connected to your hobbies. For instance, there are hiking groups, movie groups, and even groups for very shy people! There’s no pressure to speak or do anything you don’t want to—just attend an event and see if there’s anyone you want to talk to!

Live

When you’re planning your trip abroad, it’s a great idea to find accommodations with an English speaker. Rather than an apartment or a hotel, try a homestay. Living in an English-speaking homestay will give you the opportunity to speak English every day; also, you’ll experience what everyday life is like in your host country.

Socialize

If you’re a student at a language school, you’ll probably be in a class with students from many other countries. Make after-school plans to spend time with some of them (people who speak a different language than you do). That way, you’ll have to communicate with each other in English! 

Start an English Blog

A useful way to practice your English is to write about it! Why not start a blog about your adventures abroad? 

Start small: Write just a few sentences once a week about your most important or interesting experiences. If you’re not sure what to write, you could just upload a photo and write a description of it.

Not only will blogging help you practice your English, but it’s a great way to record special memories that you can look at later!

Get an Online English Coach

You might be having trouble finding enough opportunities to practice your English while you travel. Maybe you’re feeling shy, or you’re just not sure how to start. Well, that’s the benefit of the Internet: Sign up to practice with an online coach to have one-on-one sessions that will support your English-learning journey!

Conclusion

Visiting an English-speaking country can be an amazing opportunity to practice your language skills. Try the above tips to make the most of your experience!

Andrea is a Gabby Academy coach and education technolgy writer based in Vancouver, Canada.