If you study abroad in Spain, you will have a fantastic time and memories that last forever!
But if you study abroad in Spain – whatever you are studying – the most important thing for you do to is to Learn Spanish!
Spanish is one of the most important languages in the world! It is so important that students from all over the world go to Spain to learn Spanish – Japanese students, Russian students, French students, Korean students, Brazilian students, Chinese students, German students, and others.
Students that go to Spain to learn Spanish tend to be particularly motivated students and uniquely aware of the need and benefit to speak one of the world’s most important languages in order to get a great job – and to have great prospects in their future careers. Speaking Spanish – really speaking Spanish well – sets these international globe trotters apart from the rest.
Employers in countries like Japan, China, and Korea, for example, may have a hard time finding employees in foreign markets (like Spain, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Peru, etc.) that speak Japanese, Chinese, or Korean. Therefore, they rely on university graduates from their own countries that have lived abroad in Spain and other Spanish-speaking countries.
They look for graduates who have a high level of Spanish competency – graduates that can speak and communicate effectively with their Spanish speaking counterparts, whether they be purchasers, business owners, marketing companies, importers, or whatever. In order for those graduates to get those great jobs, they must have spent enough time abroad learning not only Spanish, but the local culture – effective communication requires not only fluency in a language, but also a knowledge of culture and customs. Language fluency and cultural competency enable the graduates to communicate effectively, bridge cultural gaps, and establish beneficial business relationships.
The scenario is similar for US students. English is certainly the world’s most important language for international communication in the business and political arenas, but the benefit of speaking Spanish fluently and being able to move comfortably in Spanish-speaking and other foreign cultures is definitively a competitive advantage for US students. In some sectors it has nearly become a requirement!
Acquiring the ability to communicate effectively in Spanish through Spanish language fluency and cultural understanding will create future professional opportunities for you that non-speakers of Spanish will not have.
So, if you go to Spain to study abroad, make the most of it! Really learn Spanish! Take Spanish courses in Spain and take them seriously. While you are studying abroad in Spain set a goal to learn 15 or 20 new Spanish words a day – really memorize them. Read a short Spanish news article each day (300 words or so).
Learn everything in the article:
– Spanish vocabulary
– Spanish idiomatic phrases
– Spanish verbs that require specific Spanish prepositions, e.g. “soña con” (literally,”to dream with”, but means “to dream about”)
– Spanish verbs that go with a specific nouns, e.g. hacer una pregunta (“to make a question” = to ask a question)
Keep a small notebook with you (or use your mobile device) and keep sections for vocabulary, idiomatic phrases, verb/noun combinations, and anything else that interests you – Spanish recipes, the names of food, etc.
At the end of each week, review your vocabulary, verbs, expressions, and notes. Memorize! The more you make an effort at learning Spanish while you are in Spain and the more you learn at the beginning, the more you will learn in the subsequent weeks of your study abroad program.
It’s guaranteed if you learn Spanish words and phrases one week, that you will hear them spoken or seem them written somewhere the next week! That’s an instant reinforcement that will help you to remember Spanish words and phrases and enable you to use them when you speak, write, or hear Spanish.
So, watch Spanish tv programs, go to Spanish movies, listen to Spanish radio programs. You will increase your Spanish vocabulary, improve your listening comprehension, and really improve your ability to speak Spanish.
Most important of all – spend as much time as you can learning Spanish in Spain! The more time you spend learning Spanish in Spain, the more you learn. And the more you learn, the faster you learn!