Learning Foreign Languages Overseas Language Programs

If you plan on living overseas for any length of time, or permanently retiring abroad, language barriers may present an obstacle to your adjustment. Learning foreign languages late in life can be challenging, but there are often classes or language programs available in your destination country that can be very helpful when combined with full immersion. A supportive bilingual ex-patriot community will also help to ease your language transition.

Learning Foreign Languages: Applying for a Student Visa

Similar to retirement visas and work visas, student visas are available in many countries. Study visas dictate the terms of your entry into the country based on your educational intentions, and give you the opportunity to enroll in intensive language programs that you may not otherwise be allowed to participate in on a visitor or retirement visa. However, in most cases, enrolling in part-time language programs while living overseas will not involve any special rules related to your visitor visa.

Many countries offer several categories of student visas, depending on the length and nature of your intended coursework. To determine the rules of your intended destination, contact the embassy or consulate of that country for details.

Learning Foreign Languages Prior to Your Departure

If you plan to retire abroad but will still be working and living in the United States for a few more years, consider the language programs available to you, the length of time before you leave, your level of desired fluidity and your preferred learning style.

If you feel comfortable embarking on your move knowing only basic vocabulary and simple sentences, you can purchase an online or audio course, which you can complete at your own pace. If you’d like to become fully conversant, and you have enough time, the best way to approach learning foreign languages is to attend a class or hire a personal tutor. Investigate the language programs at your local community college or search for a private local tutor online.