Learning on holiday – does it work at all? Yes, and really well! Ben tried it out and took a language trip to Nîmes in the south of France. For two weeks he learned French vocabulary and grammar during the day and tested what he had learned right in the evening when he went out.
“I wasn’t very good at French at school,” he says looking back. “I found it simply terribly boring to swot up on vocabulary just to take a test afterwards. I was very unmotivated. I lacked access to the language.”
That was four years ago. In the meantime, Ben has trained as an event manager and is now employed by a small company at the age of 21. At the moment he still gets along well with German and English. But he knows how important foreign language skills are for his further career.
How important are foreign languages in his job?
Language skills are required in more than half of all job advertisements in Germany. English comes first, a must in our globalized working world. French and Spanish come in second and third place. And even if an employer does not explicitly require language skills: if two applicants with otherwise identical qualifications compete for a job, an additional foreign language can be the decisive argument.
Top five foreign languages in Germany after English
Rebekka, who took the language course in London together with Ben, proves that it is never too late for language training. The 57-year-old sales employee is also dealing with French customers after a job change. Her rusty school French was no longer sufficient for this. Fortunately, her employer also showed understanding and contributed to the costs.
Ben had to pay for his language trip himself and decided to finance it through Credit company.
“My girlfriend did not understand at first why I “only” wanted to take out a loan for a trip. But I see this as an investment in my future. And I was able to choose the installments individually and so I had no problems at all with the repayment.”
How much does a language trip cost?
Depending on the destination and the type of course desired, prices vary between 500 and 1,200 euros for two weeks. Our tip: Be sure to inform yourself before booking what is included in the price and what additional costs are involved. Are teaching materials included or do you have to pay for them yourself? What about examination fees? And do you receive a certificate for the completed seminar at no additional cost?
Most language courses can be booked including accommodation, in a shared flat with other participants or in a local host family. Many language travel agencies offer a varied leisure program in addition to the lessons, which is usually included in the price. The arrival and departure to and from the destination country usually has to be organized by yourself.
What are the benefits of a language trip?
With all these costs, is a language trip worthwhile at all? Absolutely!
“I learned more in two weeks of language courses than in three years of French lessons! In the evenings I spent a lot of time with my host family, especially with Pierre.”
Pierre is the son of the same age in his host family, who shares a passion for skateboarding with Ben.
“In the beginning we could only talk with hands and feet, but in the end we even managed to have meaningful conversations,” Ben laughs.
The contact with locals is the main reason why language trips are so effective. But the intensive learning experience far away from everyday life also contributes a lot to the learning success. After all, trying to learn a language at home, alongside the many other duties, is not always crowned with success. It is much more effective to take a few weeks and immerse yourself completely in a country, its language and culture.
Rebekka is very happy to have made the language trip. She can now communicate much better with her French customers and was so enthusiastic about Nîmes that she wants to go there again in her next holiday. Ben also took a lot with him from his language trip. His new language skills will put him in an even better light in future job applications. And next year his new friend Pierre will be visiting him. He now wants to go on a language trip and learn English.