The Erasmus+ and Turing program support an international mobility within an educational framework. Being able to communicate during your Erasmus+ or Turing internship is pretty much the foundation of a successful experience. It is a requirement to have a certain level foreign-language when staying abroad, so you can interact and understand the tasks that are expected of you.
Is a Language Course Helpful?
Before you start your experience abroad, you should consider the language spoken at your Erasmus+ or Turing destination and what language level is required in the specific field you intend to do your Erasmus+ or Turing internship. The required language level may vary from the language level you have reached at school – remember, you know yourself best, you know your strengths and weaknesses surrounding your language level and you probably know if you should attend a language course before your Erasmus+ or Turing experience starts. You can either do a language course at home before you go off to your internship or you can also do a language course as part of your Erasmus+ project.
How to Get Information on Appropriate Language Schools and Classes?
After evaluating and coming to the conclusion that you need some language classes, it is essential to know what your Erasmus+ internship requires. As an example, if you have to engage in verbal interaction and you are not that talkative, a language course will definitely help you to overcome your shyness. You might not have any issues with talking, but your writing needs help – so perhaps you require extended writing skills for your Erasmus+ internship? Then it’s a good idea to focus on improving it.
Most Erasmus+ destinations have a large number of language schools available. Be sure to choose one you are familiar with or that has good reviews. Or choose one that’s recommended by someone at your school or that you know. Do get in touch with your teachers about your previous experiences. Language centres usually offer tailored courses that match your needs (writing, talking or both). Assuming you have never been confronted with using or interacting with the language of your chosen destination, make sure that the country and company is the right one for you to complete your Erasmus+ or Turing internship.
If there is nobody from your network who can advise you on finding the right language school, get in touch with your agency/provider. Doing a language course is a fun and informative way to spend some of your free time. For some roles it is important to have a certain language level so doing a language course gives you the opportunity to apply for future employment too. The company where you complete your Erasmus+ or Turing internship will definitely appreciate it if you learn the local language and show greater interest in the local culture.
What Can You Do to Improve Your Language Level Before Taking Your Trip?
As we’ve already mentioned above, take time to evaluate your language-needs and improve the areas where you’re weakest. Depending on what you need to do during your Erasmus+ or Turing internship, prepare yourself well in advance. Talk to your language teachers and ask them to provide some useful exercises to improve your skills. Try to speak the required language at home and with your colleagues, maybe if you know someone native to the language, chat to them. Use applications on your mobile device or take some (online) language classes prior to the start of your mobility.
If you aren’t able to carry out preparation at home due to lack of time but you want to improve your language level on-site, here’s some simple advice to help you to improve your language skills.
Don’t be shy - talk to colleagues during your internship
Go out and talk to the locals – don’t be ashamed of talking, even though you think that your language level isn’t good enough
Read some books on the specific language
Use language apps on your mobile device
Write a diary in the local language
Communicate with messages in the local language
Never stop improving your work or language skills!
If you’ve covered all of the aforementioned and you’re taking languages, evaluating your weaknesses, there is nothing to stop you from starting your Erasmus+ or Turing internship with confidence.