Friday, August 27, 2010

Five tips how to get started with your Exchange year

Exchange students are starting their studies soon in the new country. Based on my experience I made a five point list how to get started with exchange year.

1. Study the language of the destination

It helps a lot if you have studied the language before arriving to the new country. It is not necessary to have studies of five or more years. One year is already enough to have good basics to start speaking and learning the language in the destination.

2. Start speaking the local language right away

Do not speak first in English and then switch to the local language when you have learned it better. Probably you will not ever change to the local language and the faster you start speaking with the local language the faster you will learn it. There are many cases where someone have studied a language ten years but does not speak it. Even after studying a language one year you can easily learn to speak better than them if you start to use the local language right away. It will be hard in the beginning but you just have to fight and you will be speaking a new language fluently if you use it everyday.

3. Find a tutor

In some places you have tutor assigned for you but if you do not have one, Find one from the university. You can ask for example your classmates at the studies. When you have a tutor it means that he/she is eager to show you things of his country. So do not miss the opportunity. Eventually when you spend time together you will be friends.

4. Go out especially in the beginning

When studies start in the beginning there is people who do not know eachother yet. Therefore in the beginning it is easier to find friends because people are more open to meet new people. Friendship circles are not formed yet but they will be formed quite quickly. So be active in the beginning and go out and other gathering what are organized. If there is nothing organized you can invite a bunch of people to join you somewhere. Take a beer, to see some attraction, to go play together something, ETC.

5. Go alone to exchange

It is a bad idea to arrive with friend, boy/girlfriend because it limits your socialization with the new people.

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