In a world increasingly open to others, learning a foreign language becomes essential. Going on a language trip is undoubtedly the most effective solution for learning the language while being in contact with people whose mother tongue is it.
But it is also an opportunity to travel and discover other cultures and the history of a new country.
I. PREPARE YOUR LINGUISTIC JOURNEY
Going abroad requires above all preparation and organization. To properly prepare for your language trip, you will need to both plan your accommodation, but also find an organization that provides language courses, while respecting your budget, to live this experience comfortably.
A. Choosing a language learning organization
If living in the country in question can sometimes be enough to improve your level and learn the language, to make significant progress it is advisable to take courses.
Many organizations offer courses to expatriates, depending on the level of language and at different rates, adapting to each person’s needs. Another important point on which to be attentive is that of the approval of the organization.
There are two professional federations that manage the validation of organizations: UNOSEL and the National Office for Guarantee of Linguistic Stays and Internships.
Each of the organizations belonging to at least one of these two federations is also approved by the Ministry of Tourism, which is a guarantee of quality. Some organizations also benefit from an “NF Service” standard, which guarantees the seriousness of the organization as well before, during and after the language stay.
A linguistic trip keeps as the main objective to be in immersion abroad to improve your level in a foreign language. But it is also an opportunity to be able to go around the world without professional hindrance. The possibility of applying for a round-the-world credit is also an excellent opportunity to visit countries that are not very accessible but of great beauty.
B. Finding quality accommodation
Going to study a language in a foreign country systematically requires living there. Some language learning organizations can offer you “all-inclusive” packages with lessons, accommodation, and catering.
But you can definitely find an apartment that suits you. The easiest way is to go there a few days before the start of your lessons so that you can visit the available accommodation. If you like meeting people, you can choose a hostel accommodation.
This type of establishment also offers overnight stays in a collective room at prices defying all competition. However, you will have to get used to community life in a room with several strangers. But it can be a good choice when you arrive long enough to find an apartment for the long term.
C. How to eat in a foreign country
It all depends on the distance from your home, the further you go for your language trip, the more difficult it will be for you to find everyday products. It can even become a real headache if you are looking for a product whose translation in the local language is not yet known.
But do not hesitate to discover new products and new culinary dishes, but still, be careful about the quality of the food. Indeed, if some foreign countries offer quality food products like in France, others are a little less straddling the quality of food. The main danger concerns your health because you are not immune to food poisoning.
The easiest way is to find out beforehand from former travelers about what to do. You can find information through specialized forums on the internet dealing with the destination of your language trip.
D. Establish a budget for your language trip
Before you decide to leave definitively, you will need to think about establishing a summary budget of all of your expenses. By planning your expenses related to language courses, transport, accommodation or even food, you can leave more serenely and be solely focused on learning the language.
Within the framework of your budget, do not hesitate to also consider all of your current expenses such as for example your rent.
Here is an example of a budget for a language trip to England, to London for 4 weeks:
II. FINDING FINANCING FOR YOUR LANGUAGE JOURNEY
If organizing your language trip involves a great deal of preparation, finding funding also takes time. In addition, finding funding is not necessarily an easy thing, but for that, we suggest you guide you in the different funding options available, and in particular to find a travel credit suited to your language learning project.
A. Apply for personal credit
Personal credit has the advantage of being quick and being able to cover all the costs relating to the language trip, even over a long period. One of the most profitable points is undoubtedly the speed of the request and the availability of funds.
In fact, it is entirely possible to apply online for organized tour credit for your linguistic trip. If the loan is granted by a credit agency between individuals this is all the more profitable, because the rates will generally be lower.
In addition, since the first reimbursement occurs at least 30 days after the funds are made available, you can very well go on your organized language learning trip, and start reimbursing after your return.
B. The funding available as an employee
If you are an employee, you can take advantage of the Individual Training Leave (CIF) to take time off work and take language training abroad. There is however a seniority rule to be fulfilled since you must have been an employee of this company for at least more than two years.
Before applying, be aware that the language training and course provider offers you a recognized diploma. In order to obtain the right to use your individual training leave, you will have to fill out a complete file on your training process, which must then correspond to one of the following three categories: professional development, personal development or retraining.
If you are a job seeker, you can also claim to fund your language trip. The easiest way to do this is to make an appointment with your Pôle Emploi advisor, who will be able to support and follow up on your request. In addition, this will allow you, by training yourself in the practice of a language, to find work more easily.
C. Aid from local and European structures
Local structures such as the region, the general council or even your town hall can provide you with financial assistance as part of a language trip. Do not hesitate to inquire directly with these structures in order to obtain the conditions for obtaining such assistance.
The family allowance office (CAF) can offer scholarships or holiday vouchers to people who have few resources, these can be used to pay for transportation and food costs on site. However, check that these are accepted in the country you are traveling to.
In terms of European aid, the Erasmus program can allow you to find funding, but you will have to register this departure abroad as part of a more comprehensive university exchange training.
Indeed to benefit from it you must be registered in a university establishment in France which will have established a partnership with another university in Europe.
In terms of vocational training, the Leonardo program offers scholarships in this specific framework, but you will need to be already registered in a vocational training establishment in France.