It's that time of the year again where language schools abroad start to get ready for their halls to be filed with students during the months of July and August. Having spent 3 weeks of my life at a top french language school I felt I do have something to say that might be beneficial for those considering a few weeks or even a whole summer abroad.
My 3 week french course was at ILA right in the heart of Montpellier. In Canada French is one of the most boring and despised subjects by us in highschool and we would always count down until the moment the bell rang and we could be released from our prison aka classroom. So for me, revisiting french I was naturally nervous cuz in highschool it was one of the most uninteresting subjects around.
But all that changed when I stepped through the doors of a classroom at ILA. Choosing a qualified language school is of upmost importance. One hour at a top language school can make you learn more than a lifetime at any other boring lifeless program. In addition to that, the benefits are that you make friends and you find yourself in the company of like minded individuals that you practice your language with but also have a drink with as well. Or you can practice languages AND have a drink at the same time.....
In an intimate classroom setting (10 students or less), every student has a different area that they are good in. So what ends up happening is that you fill on for others in the areas where they are weak and you are strong and in return you draw from areas that they have mastered but you still struggle with.
Choosing a city that you learn a language in is just as important. Before I came I did alot of research and Montpellier was highly recommended as a good city to learn french in. The reason why the city is important is because learning a language is intense and if you are gonna stay anywhere for an extended amount of time, it is important that you find a certain amount of enjoyment in your chosen location.
For me, Montpellier is great firstly because it was one of the cheaper french cities. It is a huge student city (not just language students but university students too). There are coffee shops, eclectic eateries, supermarkets within proximity. There are places to go to relax between classes and after class to keep things from being too intense. In addition to that there are cinemas, an amazing aquarium, parks, an art museum.....all reasonably priced too.
When I left France for Belgium, I met the apartment owner of the place I would be renting. He can speak english but french is easier for him. I told me he could switch to french if he wanted to. So he did and I understood just about everything he was explaining about the apt, Brussels, places to eat etc. And he complimented me on my superb pronunciation of french. And in that moment I knew that living with french people, paying $500 a week for 30 hrs of classes at a top instution for 3 weeks of my life had not gone to waste.
To sum it up: Choose a language you'll love, choose a city you'll adore, choose a school with good accreditation, choose to live with native speakers instead of on the school residence or living situations where you have no opportunity to speak.
Choose all these things and in no time words from a foreign language will be bursting forth from your mouth....
J'veux pas finir mes jours à Tombouctou La peau tirée par des machines à clous Moi je veux être fripée
Triplement fripée Fripée comme une Triplette de Belleville J'veux pas finir ma vie à Acapulco Danser toute raide avec des gigolos Moi je veux être tordue Triplement tordue Balancée comme une Triplette de Belleville (Allez les filles!) Refrain:
Swinging Belleville rendez-vous Marathon dancing doop dee doop Vaudou Cancan balais taboo Au Belleville swinging rendez-vous J'veux pas finir ma vie à Singapour Jouer au dico manger des petits fours Moi j'veux être zidiote Triplement zidiote Gondolée comme une Triplette de Belleville J'veux pas finir ma vie à Honolulu Chanter comme un zoiseau ça n'se fait plus Je veux ma voix brisée Triplement brisée Swinguer comme une Triplette de Belleville Refrain J'pourrai finir ma vie à Katmandou C'est bien plus doux de faire des rimes en “dou“ Mais je veux être givrée Triplement Givrée Et swinguer comme les Tripletes de Belleville