Is English your only language? Do not fear. You can still enjoy a rewarding Study Abroad experience at most UFV’s partner universities. With the exception of a few schools in Japan and the Dominican Republic that require some proficiency in Japanese or Spanish, UFV Abroad partnership universities offer courses in English.
Nevertheless, depending on where you go and how much you choose to immerse yourself into the local culture and language, studying abroad can be an incredible opportunity to improve or learn a second language. Notably, many of the universities offer free language classes for exchange students.
When I studied abroad in Poland, I quickly picked up some Polish I could use at stores and in public places where English would not suffice. I found that many of my friends and acquaintances were more than happy to teach me simple words and phrases whenever I asked. I was so amazed that most Polish speakers were also fluent in English. They really inspired me to want to learn more.
Here at UFV, the Modern Languages (MOLA) department offers courses in French, German, Halq’eméylem, Japanese, Mandarin, Punjabi, Russian, and Spanish. There is also the ESL department that teaches English to speakers of other languages. While these courses support the language acquisition through curriculum and speaking labs, they do not offer a full immersion experience, which is often highly beneficial in gaining mastery of a second language.
If you are currently studying French, German, Spanish, Japanese, Punjabi, or Mandarin and would like to develop greater fluency, you should definitely consider participating in a Study Abroad semester or a short-term study tour. By placing yourself physically within another linguistic environment, you will develop fluency much faster, by applying in daily conversation linguistic patterns and structures that you have learned in the classroom. As an additional benefit, you will get to experience the culture firsthand, making for an invaluable experience.