Only Speak English? Why You Don't Have to Be Afraid to Study Abroad

May 6, 2020

Studying abroad is a rewarding, life-changing experience. However, if your only spoken language is English, it’s natural to feel some anxiety about suddenly living and studying in a country where people aren’t always speaking your native tongue. However, being a student abroad isn’t as intimidating as you might imagine, and there are ways you can make the most of your experience, even if the language takes you out of your comfort zone.

Even if you know exactly zero Italian, there are many ways in which you can minimize any nerves you might have. In fact, your experience can help you gain greater confidence and new skills. Here’s why speaking only English shouldn’t keep you from pursuing a study abroad experience.

At JCU, You’ll Still Be Studying in Your Native English

Despite any anxieties you may have with regards to studying abroad in a country where English is not the official language, you can take comfort in knowing that John Cabot University’s language of instruction is English. This means that you can continue your education in your native language, as well as study within the U.S. university system you’re accustomed to.

You’ll find yourself surrounded by students from around the globe who also will be speaking English with you, since it’s the language required for those who want to teach or study at JCU. This is just one of the many benefits that comes from studying at an English-language American institution in Italy. Not only will you step right out of your typical routine by living in a new country, but you’ll learn about Rome, Italy, and other cultures during your time abroad.

study in Italy

You Can Try Learning a Few Basics Beforehand

Even if you currently only know English, that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to learn some Italian words and phrases before your studies. One of the very first things you can do to lessen some of your anxieties is to try brushing up on some of the basics of the language. Getting some familiarity with Italian before your time in Rome can be a great idea, so try practicing by watching Italian movies or listening to podcasts that are at a lower level of Italian. Use a tool such as Babbel or Duolingo in your spare time, to help you pick up new words and phrases. You don’t need to master the Italian language prior to when you study in Italy, but learning a few words and phrases can help you feel more confident!

Remember That Being Out of Your Comfort Zone Can Give You Greater Independence

While stepping out of your comfort zone can feel like a daunting prospect, it can actually be a terrific opportunity for growth. As you begin your studies, you’ll find yourself overcoming new challenges and discovering new perspectives and solutions. You may even find yourself asking people if they speak English, or having Google Translate open on your phone. This isn’t a bad thing! Learning how to adapt to a new language and culture in another part of the world can be a catalyst for greater independence and self-confidence, as you learn how to overcome a challenge head-on by yourself.

After You Study in Italy, You’ll Come Home Knowing More Than You Used To

Although your classes while you study abroad will be taught in English, you’ll still have an opportunity to learn a little Italian if you want to—whether that’s by regularly going out for meals and ordering in Italian, making friends with locals, or taking an Italian course during your time abroad. Better yet, having a command of another language can help you stand out from other applicants in the job market!

Ultimately, the best way you are going to learn the language is by diving in headfirst and immersing yourself in the culture, which is part of what makes studying abroad such an incredible experience. If you arrive not knowing any Italian, you might be surprised by just how much you learn about the language during your studies! You may come back to your home country with a far greater Italian knowledge than you did before you left!

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Do you want to attend a university in Rome?

Contact John Cabot University to find out more!

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