https://www.duolingo.com/Lea.1717

Languages and Gap Year

Lea.1717
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How did languages influence your Gap Year experience and viceversa? Have any of you learned a language just to be able to spend your gap year (working, etc...) in a country? What's your experience? Tell me your stories.

I want to have a Gap Year when I finish highschool, so in about 1 year... The problem is that some countries require you to speak the language at least to an intermediate level. Is it wise to try to learn a language in a few weeks/months just to spend a few months working somewhere? (just to repeat the process again for another language?)


For those who don't know:

Gap Year: "a period, typically an academic year, taken by a student as a break between school and university or college education".


1 year ago

12 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/Harpa711886

I have not yet started my Gap Year, but I will do so very soon, as I am going to receive my leaving certificate in two days :)

I will do a beginner's Icelandic Course in Iceland (Icelandic is by far my favourite language), and then I will work in lovely Ireland for a few months. My English is quite good, but it never hurts to practice a little bit!

To answer your questions concerning the language requirements in some countries: What do you want to do abroad? If you plan to do an Au-pair stay, then you can do a language course in your host country (in many cases it is expected from the au-pair to do a course).. I know from my sister that some families even pay your course fee. If it is only "normal" working, e.g. hostel work, farm work or whatever, then it will certainly help if you already speak the language a little bit, especially when you are working with natives or when you are working with others. I would recommend to learn at least the very basics of the language and try to learn as much as possible in the country itself.

I will also spend a few months in Nepal, and I am very curious and excited to learn some phrases in Nepali :)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lea.1717
Lea.1717
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Thanks for sharing! And good luck with Nepal!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Harpa711886

Thank you! I am sooo excited to visit this country :)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Elagui
Elagui
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My gap year turned into a gap decade where I never really ended up going to college ... but I ended up teaching myself Portuguese just for the fun of it though it's highly doubtful I'll ever put it to good use.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Mereade
Mereade
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I've met a person who had a gap year during her high school and spent half of it studying in Germany in German, and the other half studying in the Czech Republic in Czech. It was obvious she enjoyed it and draw a lot of value from the experience.

Of course you should learn the language(s) beforehand, no matter what the official requirements are. I was on Erasmus with people speaking the language at very different levels. I don't know why those on the low levels even applied. A few months of intensive work (that means definitely not just Duolingo) can get you well inside the intermediate levels in european languages (probably not in Mandarin or Arabic).

Based on my foreign study stays (at various levels of language skills): Every bit of language skill you learn before going will pay off! Of course you will still have tons to learn. But good preparation can make your life in the country much easier and enjoyable. And it can save you from forming bad habits and closing yourself to the English speaking bubble.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Myah061

Lea, excuse me, but what is "gap year"?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Harpa711886

A gap year is something that many young people do after they finish school. They have a year between school and the begin of university (or whatever) in which they travel, gain work experience etc.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Myah061

Awesome, thanks!

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ally.x
ally.x
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I believe what they mean is that in some countries people take a "break", one year time off = gap year, between their secondary school and university. They spend that year traveling and/or working often done abroad...

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Myah061

Very cool, thank you.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/atikshsingh10

Just a question, does a gap year mean that you finish college 1 year after someone your age who didnt take a gap year?

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Lea.1717
Lea.1717
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Not necessarily. But if you have a gap year after you finish highschool, you do start college one year after the ones who started college as soon as they graduated highschool.

But it's not a lost year. It's an year to get to know yourself better and see the world, while developing skills and getting a better idea of who you are and what you really want to do.

1 year ago
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