Deciding to study English as a second language is a big decision that can have a profound impact on your life, and when you live abroad you’ll have the chance to learn the language on a much deeper level than those who only study it in their home country. The learning process is about more that just reading textbooks and taking tests; it involves communicating with native English speakers and practicing your skills in real-life situations outside the classroom. Not only will you be stimulating your brain and expanding your knowledge of the English language, but your whole experience will be richer and more enjoyable when you can share it with new friends while participating in a study abroad program. Here are three ideas to get you started on your mission to meet new people while living in America and studying English as a second language:
1) Go to free events, such as concerts, festivals, and street fairs. One of the benefits of being in a large city is having access to all kinds of activities, including many that are offered at no charge. Get a copy of a free newspaper at a coffee house or from a street paper dispenser and you’ll see dozens of events happening in the upcoming weeks.
2) Practice your religion. If you are an active member of your congregation at home, you should continue that practice when learning English as a second language. Going to church or temple every week, for example, will keep you connected to an important aspect of your home life while giving you the opportunity to meet new people. Most churches have social gatherings, clubs, or volunteering opportunities, too.
3) Volunteer. No matter where you live or what your philanthropic passions may be, there are always many opportunities to put your skills to use for a good cause. When you volunteer you’ll be helping a cause in an important way while practicing your English skills and meeting other volunteers who share some of your values.
These are just a few of the ways you can meet new people while living abroad and studying English as a second language. Remember, when you make the most of your experience you can build friendships that may even last a lifetime.