1. Improve your language skills and learn to speak like a native
Immersing yourself in a country that speaks your chosen language is the most effective way to learn and advance your language skills. Immersion gives you the exclusive opportunity to learn how to think like a native. You will be surprised about how much you can absorb by listening to the language on a daily basis.
Training your ear takes time but you can speed up the process by making an effort to speak with your host family, teachers and friends at school. These interactions will be crucial to your language development. They will be the individuals correcting your mistakes, explaining exceptions, vocabulary and pronunciations. It is the hands-on approach that you can’t obtain from an Irish classroom.
Listening to the local radio, news and podcasts in your chosen destination are all excellent ways of boosting your language level and learning some new vocabulary. Don’t forget to pack a notepad and pocket dictionary or download our free Language Learning App guide!
2. Open your eyes to a new way of thinking
Traveling to a different country and living with a new family will revolutionise the way you see the world. It will teach you how to adapt to new situations and open your eyes to new cultures. Your destination could lead you to celebrating the Fallas festival in Valencia or indulging in croissants and crepes in front of the Eiffel Tower and if you’re feeling really adventurous, try your hand at tucking into some French delicacies from snails to frog’s leg and even steak tartare. The Transition Year Abroad Programme is the perfect opportunity for you to make the world your classroom and have the time of your life.
3. Immerse yourself in a totally different culture
At LLI, we believe differences shouldn’t separate us but unite us in one global tribe. The opportunity to soak up a new culture is life changing. Cultures will provide you with the chance to stand back and re-evaluate your own living habits. We can learn from each other and the Transition Year Abroad Programme will allow you to take home new cuisines, fashion styles, activities, but most importantly, new outlooks on life.
4. It looks great on your CV
Employers love to see that you’ve delved into the global community. As our own world becomes more connected, languages and understanding of how other countries work have become even more critical. The Irish Times reported employers’ group Ibec have repeatedly warned about a shortage in skilled language graduates in Ireland. Your extra language and experience will give you an advantage over other candidates as the demand is constantly growing for bilingual employees.
5. Give yourself a head start for the Leaving Cert
Picking an LLI course for TY is an excellent way to boosting your language skills before the Leaving Cert, particularly for the Aural and Oral.
The Leaving Cert Oral and Aural is worth a massive forty-five per cent of your overall grade. Examiners will be impressed by your ability and the vocabulary you have picked up during your stay.
Irish teenagers use a lot of colloquial phrases every day. You will stand out in your oral by learning this type of daily vocabulary from your French, German or Spanish peers. The knowledge you acquire during your time away will help you to use these familiar words in the correct context and will be a sure way to impress an examiner.
Confidence in your ability is a key part in mastering a language. The Transition Year Abroad Programme aims to get you comfortable with comprehension, speaking and writing. As your confidence grows, the more willing you become to take chances and show off your new-found language level.
6. Experience a classroom in another country
Classrooms all over Europe teach different methods, by grabbing this unique experience you will be exposed to alternative teaching methods. For example, in French schools, some classes can consist of the teacher reading out a paragraph and you transcribing it. This trains the ear to differentiate the sounds and pronunciations. French schools also have a different attitude towards lunchtime with an hour and a half allotted to chow down! Bon Appétit!
7. Learn how to be more independent, flexible and tolerant
This experience will be more than just learning a language. At LLI, we strive to allow students to continue their activities like playing sport or keeping up a music instrument on the Transition Year Programme. You will learn to interact in a different language through your passions. This takes courage, confidence and self belief, which leads to creating a new independent version of yourself. Character building skills will be utilised as you must learn to adapt to a new way of living, from interacting with a new family and school to eating a whole new range of foods.
8. Learn to appreciate what you already have
It is easy to take what you have for granted, when you don’t realise how much you already have. Traveling and exposing yourself to new countries, ways of life and cultures allows you to reflect on how you live in Ireland. For the first time you may realise the traits that make you Irish. You can share, learn and grow from this experience. It may even give you a new-found appreciation for the people who mean most to you in your life, the opportunities you have at home and even the taste of spuds!
9. Become a Global Citizen
Our world is more connected than ever and at LLI we believe we are all global citizens of one interconnected tribe. Broadening your horizons, communicating in another language and experiencing a new culture helps to strengthen that feeling of not only being an Irish citizen but a global one. You realise that no matter where you come from or how you have been raised, you will always have similarities in common with other teenagers around the world.
10. Meet New Friends and make Friends for Life
The people you meet during your time and the friendships you forge won’t be forgotten. You will experience these cities in an entirely different way from the typical tourist on the street. The people you encounter will share their daily routines with you and give you an exclusive insight into their culture. It is also a great opportunity for them to organise a trip to Ireland, and for you to return the favour by showing them around.
Don’t just take my word, go and visit the blogs of the students themselves and get a taste of their experience. Your TY adventure is waiting, all you need to do is give us a call.