education and foreign students

Ciao, hallo, ahoj, здра́вствуйте…that’s hello (hi) in languages that I’m learning - italian, german, slovak/czech (my first language) and russian. As you can see, I love languages. You could call me a language freak. I enjoy learning them and I would love to see other people enjoying it too. So that’s why I’m here today. Writing this post about how to learn any foreing language.

  • 1. VOCABULARY

For me, vocabulary is the most important part of any language. You can know the grammar, the pronunciation and everything else, but if you don’t know words, you can’t do anything. For many years, as I was younger, I struggled to learn new words. I often just translated them and that was all. Then I finally did what was necessary. I wrote them down.
Yes, that’s the first step. Write the freakin’ words somewhere, then write the translation, if you need to, a sentence where it is used (in languages such as german, do it so the word will be in nominative, so you won’t mess up the article). Read it out loud and when revising, make flashcards.
One tip when it comes to flashcards with vocab. Don’t make a flashcard of every single word you have on your list. It will consume your time, paper and your energy. Do it only with really hard words that you can’t remember.

  • 2. GRAMMAR

This is the most annoying thing for me to this day. I don’t like grammar, I struggled with grammar even in my native language (because we have i/y and billions of rules, you would understand if you were from Slovakia). What usually works for me is a simple training. Make a chart of the words in sentence, and write how did they change, or where do they need to be and so. Then just write simple sentences and have someone to correct them (teacher or some friend who is really good in the language).

  • 3. READ

Read books and articles in the language that you are trying to learn. Underline and translate the words you don’t understand (then follow the steps in 1.) Reading help so much. My english is not a product of teachers in schools and language courses after school. It’s the product of me reading every single book in english since I was 10 (or around 10 I think). Don’t worry about you not enjoying the book or the plot. That will come later. First few books are there for you to get used to it and then you will enjoy it. I promise.

  • 4. SPEAK & WRITE

Find someone who you can speak and/or write with. Native speakers are the best and if they know your first language, that’s even better. This can help you so much, because you are actually using the language in real life situation. If you don’t know anyone in person, try the internet (if you want to speak with me, message me any time).

  • 5. MOVIES, TV SHOWS

This one is really simple, just set the language to the one you want to learn. First you can try with only subtitles, then also the language. Maybe you won’t notice, but you will learn the correct pronunciation of words and you will learn the accent.

  • 5. THE GREAT SOURCE OF KNOWLEDGE - INTERNET

If you are on your computer or phone, use sites like:

  • duolingo
  • memrise
  • quizlet
  • any news site in language of your choice

There are also applications where you can create digital flashcards (Wokabulary for example).

  • 6. MOTIVATION

Never forget - the biggest thing is to have motivation. Don’t learn a language without one. Find something you love about the language, have some goal or something, but don’t learn the language just because you need to. It only makes you hate the language.
For example I learn italian because I love the culture and people there and I want to be able to make friends in Italy as I go there every year. My reason to learn german is that I want to study (and late maybe live) in Austria and there is only a limited number of universities that teach in english so I need to be really good in german. Find something like this and I guarantee you that your next hobby is going to be called “foreing languages”.

I hope this will help you on your journey to become the ultimate language freak like me.

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US students head to Germany for free degrees - BBC News

“While the cost of college education in the US has reached record highs, Germany has abandoned tuition fees altogether for German and international students alike. BBC’s Franz Strasser looks at the increasing number of Americans who are taking advantage and saving tens of thousands of dollars to get their degrees.”

U.S. Colleges: The American Dream For International Students

The world still sees America as the land of opportunity – for higher ed. This is why in 2014, there were some 1 million foreign students enrolled in U.S. colleges and universities, another peak in a string of all-time highs going back to 2000. China and India export the most students, followed by South Korea and Saudi Arabia.


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Germany Scraps Tuition, U.S. in $1.2T of Student Debt

“Germany has announced free education in every state of the country, making all universities tuition-fee free. How are they able to pay for this luxury when the U.S. is currently drowning in $1.2T of student debt? We look at education funding and the differences between higher education in the U.S. and higher education in Europe, in this Lip News clip with Mark Sovel and Elliot Hill.”

Personally, I don’t know why, in 2014 abroad, they acted like this was any news, because any fees at all were only implemented sometime after 2000 anyway and so, it just means they didn’t last long! Also, those “tuition fees” we had were like 500 Euro per semester and did not apply to all students in the first place. So the way this is now presented in US/UK media as some revolutionary concept is kind of funny. Obviously, just like our so-called “free” healthcare, “free university” is financed by taxes so we collectively pay into the system and then enjoy these services “for free”.