English as a second language - There isn't an easy way to 'jump' levels quickly. Think about how long it took you to learn your first language. Studying a language takes hard work, a lot of practice and time. Think about why you're studying English, what your goals are, how long you have to complete them and then you'll be able to make the most of your time in this country.
Seize the day - do anything and everything you can to enjoy your time studying in another country. Too many students go home right after class instead of hanging out - socializing - with other students. Other students stay at home on weekends playing video games or chatting online with their friends in their home country. Try new activities or sports and get out and discover your new city. Most language schools have a social calendar with events, such as dinners, day trips or tickets to the city attractions. If you've made a friend or two, try a new restaurant or activity every weekend. If there are lots of students from the same country as you or your school doesn't have a social program, try the local community center. There are lots of clubs you can join, such as swimming, basketball, soccer, dancing, music or photography. If you're not having a good time, only you have the power to change your experience.
Living and studying in another country isn't easy for many students. For many, it's also the first time away from home. I've studied different languages (French, Spanish, Japanese and Thai) and I've experienced the most improvement when I've been able to speak the language in that country. For example, I studied French in my home country for many painful years - I could never get the pronunciation right and roll my 'r' the correct way ...I was about to accept that I would never have a French accent until I went to France. During my time there, I had to speak French all the time, I couldn't 'cheat' or use a dictionary or translate from French to English. I learned very quickly how to 'copy' the locals' pronunciation, grammar and vocabulary. I improved more in a few weeks than a few years studying back home from a book and completing sentences with the correct verb tense. Don't get me wrong, my French is not perfect now, but I have more confidence to start conversations with new people and I'm learning that dictionaries don't always have the right translation.
I hope you try new things, have a great time and improve your English - good luck!
Read more of my blogs about learning English:
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