Category Archives: Study tips

Why It Is Better to Study English Abroad

Whether you have never learn English before, or are already an advanced learner, studying abroad can be better than staying in your home country for the same purpose. That’s because traveling to one of the English-speaking countries provides plenty of opportunities to practice your skills in a real life environment, not only with native speakers, but also with people from all around the world. An idea to come to the UK to learn English is quite exciting, that is, if you like to travel.

Advantages

English is a global language and will enable you to better understand the world and its varied cultures. This can give you an advantage in your future travels around the globe, and you will be better suited to interact with foreign visitors in your home country. In fact, studying abroad can increase your chances of working in a global industry or in a multinational company due to your global understanding of the world, coupled with your mastery of a universal language.

Any of the English language schools in England, Ireland, Australia, USA, or Canada will provide an authentic learning process, but you will get to immerse yourself in the language everywhere you go, at school, at the café or supermarket, with friends and classmates, which means you will also get to learn the language much faster.

Acquiring sound English language skills abroad can help you further your studies as an international student and will look great on your CV. Moreover, you will have proved to yourself and everyone else that you can be independent and responsible for yourself, and these are invaluable life skills. Irrespective whether you decide to stay or to go back, you will have an advantage both in your home country and in the country where you got to learn English.

Look at it as an opportunity to invest in your future as you broaden your horizons and make new friends; these can be people speaking your language, as well as English natives when you feel more confident in your skills. So, make an international network of friends to explore the city and study together, and make memories to treasure forever. Seeing first-hand how a different culture lives and thinks can be a truly life changing experience.

Finally, if you are only spending a short amount of time in another country, you probably won’t even need a student visa. A good program to consider is IDP Thailand Study Abroad in English destinations.

Disadvantages

Nonetheless, there are also disadvantages to traveling abroad to study English. It can be too expensive, even if you manage to get a scholarship or a study grant, and you may find it too difficult at first, especially if you are just beginning to learn the language. Depending on where you come from originally, you may experience a bit of a culture shock; while overwhelming initially, especially if you’ve never traveled on your own before, this can also be a good thing as you make new friends. Learning the language in a different country requires a lot of hard work, so be sure you are ready to make the commitment.

Learning Mandarin Can Change the Way You Think

Written by: Anna Rugg

What language do you think in? Most likely your mother tongue, but if you’ve learned a second (or more) language you might think in another language some of the time. The language you think in shapes the way you think.

As a native English speaker, learning Chinese in China (http://keatschinese.com) has been a rewarding, albeit difficult, process for many reasons including broadening my horizons about how people think.

This journey has led me to realize how amazingly differently two people can express the same thought or describe the same object. It has also shown me how a deep understanding of a language is necessary for clear communication.

After studying Mandarin for a while, you might find yourself saying OK twelve times in a row like how a Chinese person says hao. You might throw in words like suibian or mafen even into conversations in your mother tongue. And you may never be able to draw squares the same way again. (Chinese characters are drawn in very specific ways.) Subtle changes to the way you think and process language can occur without you even realizing it. And if you do stop to ponder how learning Mandarin has influenced your thinking, you might discover even bigger changes.

Here are a few larger changes that I have noticed.

Different Ways of Describing the Same Thing

Different languages describe things in unique ways. And not just things that you think might be culturally subjective like how crowded a place is or how spicy a certain food is.

You know that black tea we drink in the West? Well, it is red tea in Mandarin. Brown sugar also just turned red, and oranges are described as yellow on this side of the world.

glass of tea

After learning the “correct” colors of these and other objects in Mandarin, I can start to see why they are referenced in that way. Black tea leaves produce liquid tea that has a reddish color. Brown sugar has red undertones.

When I view the world now, I often wonder how other people would describe what I am seeing.

Concise and Direct

“Can I have this? Yes or no?”

I’ll never forget the first time we were in China and an English student asked me this. It comes across as rather rude in English, but after studying Chinese for a while, I realized this student was just imposing the simple, direct grammar of Mandarin into her English.

Chinese is very direct and doesn’t use more words than necessary. Sometimes English speakers would be better off cutting the fat out of our speech and just saying what is necessary.

Entirely New Concepts

Some things just don’t translate well because they are entirely new concepts.

How do you translate renao (热闹) into English? Exciting? Bustling? Kind of like going shopping in a crowded mall at Christmas time? Getting close, but you can’t totally capture this concept. Certain concepts just simply don’t exist in other languages.

Learning these new concepts makes me wonder what other concepts and ways of thinking are out there that I have never explored.

people crowd

Relationship Terms Used Very Differently

Another way that the language of Mandarin is very different from English is the way in which relationship terms are used. In English familial terms like grandma, grandpa and the like are only used for blood relatives. In Chinese you extend the use of the familial term to those who are of similar age in relation to you. Those men who are your grandpa’s age, you can call grandpa, even if it is the first time you have met them.

China and Mandarin place a very high value on community and family. The West tends to value individuality and doing things yourself more so. This can be a good thing when kept in the proper perspective. However, humans were not meant to live isolated lives, and viewing yourself as part of a larger family can be a very good change in Western thinking. Especially if it leads you to care for and want to help others more.

Learning new ways of thinking stretches my mind and makes me want to learn more. These and other differences between Mandarin and English make me wonder how many other ways humans view the world and pattern their thoughts.

Baby Talk to Chinese Friend_1024

Exam stress

How to deal with stress when it comes to studying? Can exam stress be avoided?

Exam stress is a serious problem…

…but exam stress can be eliminated. Read how.

We live under constant stress, it is almost inevitable. Our body is constantly adapting to it. If we know what is stressing us then we are able to deal with the stress. It basically means adapting to stress changes.

How to recognize stress?

To a student stress can be a challenge or overload. The boundary between one and the other is a matter of each individual in a given time. The first step to an identification of stress is to have good knowledge of yourself, meaning you must really know yourself well. Signs of stress are shown in the physical and psychological level.
A typical physical signs of stress are: