Taking a group abroad has its advantages...

Traveling as a group is a great way to see the world together and learn the language. NRCSA has special prices for groups of 4 or more traveling together. As a group leader you can work with NRCSA to customize your itinerary including excursions and afternoon activities. Additionally, for High School and University groups, NRCSA will work with you to arrange flights so that group participants have a complete itinerary laid out a head of time.

Benefits of Foreign Language and Cultural Training Abroad for Business

Now, more than ever, we live in a global economy. What happens in foreign markets has a direct effect on the economy at home, and as businesses continue to expand and conglomerates merge, you will likely find yourself working with a client or partner overseas at some point in your career.

With the technological and communication advancements born from the internet and digital age, international business has never been so prominent. And much like conducting business at home, in order for you to be successful, it’s imperative that you understand your worldwide partners; who they are, what their customs are like, and how their business operates. The trick for any good salesperson is to learn as much about a client as possible beforehand, so he or she can engage in discussions as if they were already doing business with the new prospect. When it comes to getting to know an international company or market, few opportunities exist to better understand and learn about a foreign culture like Language and Cultural Immersion Training Abroad.

Studying abroad is no longer something reserved for adventurous college students; business professionals looking for a competitive advantage see the benefits that training abroad bring to their efforts. With so many enterprises offering similar products and services around the globe, it’s important to distinguish your company from the pack and give international corporations a reason to work with you. There are many factors that determine if a company decides to partner with you: price points, product quality, efficient timing, and environmentally conscious practices are all possible reasons why they would want to work with you. But in order for you to present your capabilities, something else needs to take place first.

They have to like you.

You only get one shot at a first impression, and that is exactly what you need to do: there’s a reason “impress” starts the word “impression”. Being part of the biggest or greatest company in the world isn’t as impressive if you don’t know the customs and mannerisms of the new country you’re trying to conduct business with. The reality is that most of the international companies you do business with will speak at least a little English.

But to separate you from all of the competitors, wouldn’t it be nice to impress your contact with a little bit of their native dialect? Wouldn’t they smile favorably on you if you displayed knowledge regarding to or asked them questions about their country? Would you risk eating a large dinner with key members of their firm without learning their customs first? Good luck getting their business if you do something to offend them.

These are all things we take for granted as second nature at home, but often overlook on the international stage. Language and cultural immersion training abroad programs are the best way to familiarize and immerse yourself in a foreign culture before you dive into a new business venture. The additional benefits you will gain from learning the language and living the culture will be apparent the second you start conducting international business. As various studies including the University of Minnesota’s Study Abroad for Global Engagement (SAGE)show, these immediate advantages are, in addition to the long-term benefits you will reap, social entrepreneurship, civic engagement, education decisions, knowledge production, and more, all from an experience that will stay with you for the rest of your life. Some employers offer tuition reimbursement, and when you couple that with eligible deductions and tax credits, both you and your company are rewarded with a very strong ROI!

Programs vary from specialized business language, to business ethics, to specific topics such as legal, medical, banking, and more. Contact the NRCSA today and we can help build a custom program that delivers exactly what you are looking for from your business-professional language and cultural immersion training experience abroad!

Highlights of NRCSA's Programs for Academic Credit
  • Most schools have an international student body (no more than 30% of any one nationality) so you are not with the same people you would be with back home…and are in classes with people from all over the world.

  • Our programs enable you to divide your time between two or more cities and/or countries. Spend your time in the big city and at the beach-or learn two languages in two countries-in one semester!

  • Option to earn US university credit and receive US transcript for your studies…or save money and arrange direct transfer credit from the foreign school to your home university.

  • Students in any year of school (as well as graduates) can participate (most schools do require students to be at least 18 years of age, few schools have a “maximum” age limit).

  • Dozens of options… an internship or volunteer project for credit? A focus on business, history or art? With our network of some of the top private language immersion programs at both language institutes and universities, you can tailor make any number of programs to fit your personal needs.

We look forward to working with you to arrange your program abroad and to setup your academic credit transfer back to your home university.

What type of lodging does NRCSA suggest?

Almost all participants in the program stay with local families, which we arrange for you upon registration and is included in the cost of the program. Host families are highly recommended in order to practice what you learn in class with your family at home, as well as to integrate yourself into the local culture. Accommodation includes different meal plans, depending on what you prefer. Many different types of host families are available, and we attempt to select the best match for each student. All families are carefully screened and must meet NRCSA and the local center’s stringent requirements before being accepted as a host family. All host families are middle-class and live in homes and areas that are attractive and safe. Some are single parent families, others are traditional families, still others are multigenerational. The ages of children in the families range from a few years old to adults, or homes without children. Students can choose to have their own room with or without a private bathroom, or to share a room with another student. Students are free to come and go as they please, but need to respect the routine of the family with whom your staying. Additionally, NRCSA can arrange for lodging in apartments, residences, dorms and hotels. For the list of lodging available at your destination, please contact us and we will be happy to provide a complete list of what is available and prices.

What makes a NRCSA program different?
  • Most locations have an international student body (usually under 30% of any one nationality) so you are not with the same people you would be with back home… and are in classes with people from all over the world.

  • You can split your stay between cities and/or countries (divide study time between two or more cities and/or countries). Spend your time in the big city and at the beach-or learn two languages in two countries-in one semester!

  • Option to earn US university credit and receive US transcript for your studies… or save money and arrange direct transfer credit to your home university.

  • There are no GPA requirements to meet and students in any year of school (as well as graduates) can participate (most schools do require students to be at least 18 years of age, few schools have a “maximum” age limit).

Just write us with your needs, and we will be more than happy to suggest a program or destination that fits them. Or, call us toll free (from USA and Canada) at 1-888-678-6211, or internationally at 1-414-278-7410.

When to Connect and Disconnect While Abroad

Great friendships and relationships can be made while experiencing another land in your study abroad adventures. Take advantage of this rare opportunity as you’re more willing to reach out and take risks because you don’t have the comforts of home holding you back; it can lead to great reward.

Allow this study abroad experience to make you bolder, talk to the people in your class or in your community you find interesting. You may experience homesickness while abroad so communication with those back home is beneficial to your mental well being, but it should be limited. Don’t let that communication hinder the potential relationships you could build in the location that you’re in right now.

Your computer may be a great comfort while abroad, as social networking platforms make it easy to keep in touch with those thousands of miles away. That being said, limit your internet time while abroad. It’s important to keep in touch but it’s also important to live your new life as fully as possible wherever you study. The benefits you can gain are numerous: mastering a foreign language, understanding another culture, and meeting people that could have serious impact on the way you see the world around you. These experiences are irreplaceable and you should take full advantage of them.

NRCSA is always available by phone during normal business hours if you need anything we can provide you, but we highly encourage you to fully embrace the new life you’re living and disconnect from your home life as you will return to it at the end of your trip.

Having the opportunity to study abroad is something not everyone gets to do, so take full advantage of it if you’re studying abroad. The benefits you will reap are endless and will change the way you perceive everything around you for a lifetime.  

By Natasha Anderson

Panama City, Panama

Modern Panama City is a thriving metropolis with tall and modern buildings, wonderful department stores, incredible mansions, hotels and casinos. At night, Panama City is full of energy and excitement, with unlimited options have a good time. Whether it’s a cultural night at the Theater or a night visiting restaurants, bars and clubs, you’re going to have a great time.

The National Theater regularly schedules concerts, symphonies and operas. Folklore Dances including those by local ethnic groups. Other attractions include the Metropolitan Cathedral, The Canal Museum, Bolívar Plaza, the Presidential Palace, the Panama Canal, Summit Biological Garden, Soberanía National Park and the Metropolitan National Park

Panama has coasts on two oceans giving birth to world famous and beautiful beaches and islands which will make your visit unforgettable! 

Tips for being a non-native speaker

By Noemi Reyes

Going to another country for the first time can be both an exciting and unsettling experience at the same time. When I was seven years old, my mother was presented with the opportunity to move to the US to be close to her mother and pursue a degree. At that age, my siblings and I watched and wondered what it would be like to be in one of the planes dashing across the sky. The curiosity my siblings and I felt overshadowed our reluctance to move to a strange place. Fortunately for my mother, it wasn’t hard to convince us to make such a drastic change.

The day finally came. We boarded the plane and after take off, I stared out of the airplane window overlooking San Juan - the beautiful rich blue waters and sandy beaches. As the waves crashing on the rocks got smaller and harder to see, I felt a sense of adventure, wonder and sadness. I knew it would be a long time before I would take a swim and build castles on my favorite beach again. When we arrived in Chicago, the plane was filled with an overwhelming celebratory applause and after the pilot made his announcements in Spanish, there was a long, monotone announcement in another language – English. They lost me at “Good evening…” The extent of my English was what I picked up in school; “lapiz , pencil; pluma, pen; gallina, chicken; puerta, door. Clearly, I was ill-prepared.

Compounding travel to a foreign land with not knowing the language spoken there can be quite un-nerving. When I first arrived in the US, I was amazed at how unfamiliar everything was. It was quite a shock to not hear my language as often as I did previously, and hear so many other languages spoken by so many others. It can be a thrilling experience and yet, feeling isolated isn’t uncommon.

I learned a few tricks along the way that helped me learn the language and feel connected:

Tip #1 - Listen to the radio.

There are many internet radio stations online from all over the world.

Choose a station that is as close to the destination as possible. The reason for this is to be able to understand the local dialect. It may take some research, but it will be worth it. If it isn’t easy to find a regional station, a citywide station will be just as useful. Practice saying some of the words you hear – out loud. Let your brain and your mouth build some familiarity with the sound and with speaking the words.

Also, never underestimate the power of a good love song. I still remember learning English singing along with Stevie Wonder and Madonna.

Tip #2 - Read the paper.

Quite often regional newspapers are also available online. As with radio stations, look for the news source closest to the destination and read one article a day. Start with headlines and work your way into the article itself. Understand what is going on in the headline and the article will make reading street signs and store signs much easier. This is also a great way to get a feel for what is going on in the region you are visiting. The sense of familiarity will provide a greater level of comfort during your visit.

Tip #3 - Take some time to Google a few things.

Start with “restaurants in ______” (name of coutry or city you will visit)

Although it can take some effort to find, take a look at a few menus from several places. Try image searching the names of the dishes offerred. An image search is a great way to see what you might be getting and reading the descriptions along with using your translation dictionary is very helpful. You will start to build a bank of regional restaurant words that will flow out when it’s time to order. Practice by looking at the image and pronouncing the name of the dish out loud. You will surprise yourself with how much you will learn and you might even impress your server.

Another helpful tip is to Google the hotel, lodge or home you will be visiting. Along with becoming familiar with the area, there will also be location hot-spots that include customer reviews and ratings. Take time to read the reviews and become familiar with where the locations are relative to your home away from home.

Tip #4 – Find someone to practice with.

Online communities are a great place to start. There are many discussion forums and online chats available for free. Also, consider a text pal or email pal. Try sending messages using common phrases you really want to grasp before your travels. Also, try calling someone and practicing these phrases. Proper pronounciation takes time and patience. Have fun with this part of the process; having a few laughs when you make mistakes can take the frustration out of the process.

Tip #5 – Subscribe to a language PodCast.

This is an excellent way to fit full lessons into a tight schedule without carrying a book around. There are many languages to choose from and a majority of the podcasts are free. Some podcasts are provided by universities and include hand-outs and study guides.

Learning is an integrative process. Remember, be kind to yourself as you are learning. Give yourself time and be patient. Be willing to ask for help. There are many friendly faces willing to help, and that is how I learned the first and most important language lesson: you will inevitably find someone who will understand you and give you helpful information. My best suggestion: spot the uniforms and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Airport personnel quite often wear uniforms and identification badges that make them easy to distinguish from other travelers. Also, information desk personnel are multi-lingual and are a gold mine of information. Some destinations have “city ambassadors,”security officers, and law enforcement stationed at popular destinations to help travelers navigate the city

Practice as often as you can, and listen to the language as often as you can. Remember that listening to the radio, reading the local paper and learning more about the food are wonderful ways to connect with the language as well as the local culture. The more you learn as you practice and listen to lectures, the more comfortable you will feel as you start to interact with your new friends abroad. Immersion is the best way to learn a langage - these 5 tips will are just a starting point in the immersion experience.

Happy travels y mucho exito!