5 Benefits of taking French courses in France!
Studying abroad is a rewarding experience that extends well beyond that time spent in the host country. It travels with you throughout your life.
But is taking French in France really worth it? Are there any solid benefits of taking French courses in France vs. other options?
We're here to set the record straight and show you five well-researched and documented benefits of studying a language abroad.
1. Immersion in Language
Taking courses in France gives you the full immersion experience.
There are benefits to taking classes taught in French, chatting with friends in France or even setting up Skype sessions with a French teacher. But this isn't full immersion.
Immersion requires you to spend your days communicating, connecting, and solving problems within the language and cultural setting.
Immersion stretches the brain's capabilities. It forces your language centers to figure out how to communicate without safety nets.
For example, if you really needed to express something to your French teacher in the U.S., but didn't have the word, you might throw in an English word. The teacher might reprimand you in French with "Say it in French".
But what's done is done.
In France, most people don't speak English or won't admit it. If you don't know a word, you'll need to say things like "How do you say + an explanation of the word."
Once you and the person you're speaking to figure it out, that learning experience will stick with you.
You'll be doing this everywhere. Classes, museums, markets, restaurants, football matches, parks and at home. And it gets so much easier with practice.
Taking French courses in France works through constant and continual repetition day and night in many settings. This solidifies neural connections in your brain, so you don't think English and then speak French.
You can switch your thoughts between English and French as needed.
A study performed at Georgetown University showed that not only do those immersed learn faster, they also change their brain patterns.
Even after an extended time of not using the language, their brain patterns resembled those of native speakers while those in the test group resembled language learners.
French courses in France give you the support you need to learn the language with ample time to practice outside the classroom.
2. Broadening Life View
Another great benefit of taking French courses in France is its ability to broaden your life view.
As Americans, we're often stuck in our own way of life. We may have trouble relating to those who are different even if we try to be open-minded.
But when you take French courses in France, you get immersed in a culture that's likely very different from your own.
You get to see and experience:
- Different ways of doing things
- Families and friends connecting and relating to each other
- Public services and transportation systems
- How they grocery shop
- School differences
- Eating what the locals eat
- And a lot more
You'll also see just how much is the same regardless of language or culture.
This won't only help you relate to the French people but to all people and cultures. You'll learn to recognize and celebrate differences and what makes us all human.
3. Positive Outlook
Today, more people realize that it's all about the experiences. Experiences, not things, make life worth living.
Things get outdated and break. But experiences last a lifetime.
Experiences like these become not only fond memories. They change who you are and how you experience the world for the better.
Research shows that life experiences make us happier long term. Those who experience new things are more likely to have a positive outlook on life.
Positivity can lead to better health, happiness, and general success in life.
They'll help you connect with others. You can share experiences with those who've been to France and those who are curious. Those who've been to Spain, Sweden, Ireland, Serbia, Russia, and so on will want to compare experiences.
Life experiences make life complete. Taking French courses in France should definitely be named among those experiences.
4. It Makes You Smarter
We know that the above heading sounds a little pretentious. But research has shown that studying abroad can in fact make you smarter.
The study showed that those who adapted and learned a new culture while immersed there developed more "integratively complex" thinking patterns.
In other words, they broadened their life view by gaining life experiences that they couldn't get at home. In turn, they were better equipped to understand the big picture and how everyone and everything relates.
This applied not only to language and culture but across the knowledge spectrum.
Now, you might say, how do we know that those who study abroad aren't already "smarter"? Is there really a cause-and-effect relationship here? Or is it just a correlation? Correlation means that there is a connection, but they can't show that one causes the other.
To establish that one caused the other, the researchers did before and after testing. They wanted to make a clear distinction between cause and effect and mere correlation.
The study went on to demonstrate the concrete benefits that the students received in the form of significantly increased job opportunities. We'll discuss those next.
5. Career Opportunities
Employers are looking for people who are willing to take chances. They want big thinkers who have a broader worldview.
As the studies above show, taking French courses in France clearly helps mold you into that kind of person.
Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, healthcare facilities, and companies large and small understand the value of multilingualism. They're willing to pay those who are multilingual more, even if the role is not that of a translator or interpreter.
Taking French courses in France looks amazing on your resume and can open up doors that may be difficult to imagine now.
Now Is The Time to Take French Courses in France
When you consider the increased opportunities for those who have studied abroad, you can easily justify taking this leap.
Studying abroad is an investment in you and your future.
Find out about scholarships and financial assistance. Explore opportunities for high school students. To get more information, contact us today.