https://www.duolingo.com/GinnieHazel

Working in a foreign country to improve your language use?

I'm currently trying to learn German to a high enough standard to communicate well with the German part of my family and people I meet, and I'm thinking staying in the country would really help me.

I'm starting a Biology degree in October but I'd really like to go over during the summer holiday next year and stay for a bit.

How easy do you think it would be to get a summer job and do you think it's even a good idea?

August 28, 2013

14 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/pinkduckling

You could also look into studying abroad. There are programs during the summer that last 1 or 2 months in a lot of places.

August 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/GinnieHazel

It's definitely worth looking into, but I don't know how easy it would be to juggle with my studies in England. It would be great if I could manage it though. :-)

August 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Yamarrin
  • 17
  • 15
  • 13
  • 4
  • 3

Well, if you have time for that, being thrown into the native environment has always been the most effective way to learn a foreign language, I think. When I had been learning German in high school for 4 years, I can say that I progressed the most when we participated in a 10-day exchange with a Geman high school - especially because my exchange partner's parents could speak only German. So yes, in my opinion, it is a good idea.

August 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/GinnieHazel

I know the experience of staying somewhere where I have to talk German all the time will be great for my language skills (and I can go see the cousins I haven't seen in over a year) but it's the finding a summer job bit that scares me. I could save enough to support myself while I'm there if I live as cheaply as possible, but I'd prefer to earn money and be exposed to German people that way as well.

August 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/Jibbz

Absolutely. Immersion is a must if you're going all the way with the language and translating articles is far from sufficient. I would go for an internship if I were you, just so it complements your degree in some way and also aids you with language. Make sure you start getting connected with companies early (try LinkedIn) and ask what they require so you'll possibly have a head start when you get there :)

August 28, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/GinnieHazel

That's a great idea. :-)

August 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/pont
  • 25
  • 23
  • 18
  • 16
  • 14
  • 14
  • 12
  • 11
  • 7
  • 5

Immersion is absolutely the best way to improve your language skills quickly, at least for speaking and oral comprehension. Just make sure you actually are immersed -- you need to be ruthless about not letting yourself hang out with English-speakers (and about not letting your German friends practice their English with you!).

Does your university participate in the Erasmus scheme ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erasmus_Programme )? This would let you study in Germany as part of your degree, giving you language immersion not only in your everyday life but in your field of study.

August 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/GinnieHazel

Because I'm studying online with the Open University I can spend time in other countries as long as I can get online and study. The thing I'm having trouble finding out about is whether getting a job and living in Germany will affect my student loans and grants. I've sent them an e-mail, though.

August 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/pont
  • 25
  • 23
  • 18
  • 16
  • 14
  • 14
  • 12
  • 11
  • 7
  • 5

A friend of mine did a whole OU degree while living and working abroad. As I recall, she told me that officially it wasn't allowed, but she used her parents' UK address for correspondence and never told the OU that she was out of the country. She did have to return occasionally for practical/fieldwork bits but generally it didn't seem to cause any problems.

August 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/GinnieHazel

Not the best solution (because of the rule bending) but I can definitely see how it would work.

August 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/chooyo
  • 22
  • 8
  • 4

For what you're planning (a summer), from what I know it's not a big deal.

It you were to stay and try go this route in Germany, I think that one of the big things would be you might have to Anmeldung (register) with your local Burgeramt (sp?) in order to get a certificate of residence so you could get things such as a German bank account (and maybe for some job applications). Once you do that, I'm pretty sure you wouldn't be covered by EHIC and since Germany has a compulsory health insurance requirement, you'd need to pay German health insurance (which would definitely add to your living expenses).

August 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/GinnieHazel

I think you can stay for up to three months visiting without getting residency (if you can afford it) but if you plan to work you have to register within 7 days. I'm definitely thinking of only holidaying for the first visit.

August 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/chooyo
  • 22
  • 8
  • 4

I think that the prospects of getting a summer job will vary widely, depending on what city / town your German part of the family lives in. You'd also want to make sure that the main language of the company is German and you'd probably need at least B1 (and probably higher) to feel comfortable working in most environments. If it were me, I'd try to save as much as possible, go over and take a month or two of intensive German lessons to really jumpstart your language skills. For more info on availability of summer jobs, you can try www.toytowngermany.com and search for "summer jobs" in the search box. Also, in addition to LinkedIn, you might want to try Xing since it seems to be popular in Germany.

August 29, 2013

https://www.duolingo.com/GinnieHazel

Thanks!

August 29, 2013
Learn a language in just 5 minutes a day. For free.