When you reach the end of your study abroad experience, you will likely be experiencing a cocktail of different feelings. You should feel proud of yourself for taking on this challenge of living in a new country while learning a new skill! If you enjoyed your time studying abroad, there will probably be some feelings of sadness and nostalgia. Maybe you felt extremely at home in the UK, made some great friends studying English and now you don’t want to leave. Maybe you missed your family and you’re relieved to be leaving, but feeling sentimental and grateful as you look back on your time abroad. You may also be feeling a bit nervous about your ability to continue growing your freshly improved language skills. However, there are a few tips and tricks to help you:
Making new friends is an important part of any language learning course and if you’ve been studying English abroad you have likely made some good connections along the way. If you have classmates who are from the same university or country as you, make an effort to continue these relationships when you return home. This way, you can continue communicating with one another in English and practising the language skills you have learned. Alternatively, if none of your classmates are from the same place, why not set up a regular zoom call with your ex-classmates where you can continue talking in English? This means you will also be able to continue improving your English communication skills.
Watch the news
After you’ve spent some time in the UK, you will be a bit more familiar with UK politics. One way to stay engaged with the place you’ve been studying is to continue watching and reading the news after you return to your home country. With this tip, you can kill two birds with one stone, since you will be informing yourself about current affairs as well as enhancing your English language skills.
Find native speakers in your city
If you live in a big city, you may be able to find an English language learning group. This is a great option because you can continue to practise your English language skills while building relationships which will help with settling back into your home country. It may also relieve some ‘reverse home-sickness’ you could be experiencing after leaving England, since you will be reminded of your classroom atmosphere while studying in the UK.
Watch TV, films and videos in English
Today, we are lucky that we have a huge selection of TV, films and videos in different languages across varying streaming platforms, websites and TV channels. Watching TV, in English is a great way to improve your language and your listening skills. If you have a Netflix subscription, you can choose from a wide range of English-language series and films.
Take advantage of social media
If you use Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, change the language to English in your settings. This means that whenever you write a status, post a picture, or receive a notification, you will be reading in English.
Listen to podcasts, radio and music in English
While living in England you will (understandably) be immersed with content in the English language – from conversations you overhear walking down the street to music played in cafés, your language skills will naturally improve because of this factor.
Upon returning home, try and find new ways to immerse yourself in the language as much as possible, since you will no longer be surrounded by fluent speakers. Listening to podcasts, the radio, music and audiobooks can help you keep your English listening skills sharp.
Online English lessons
Although your study abroad journey has come to an end, your learning doesn’t have to! There are many reputable online courses that are a great alternative to living in the UK while studying. This could be a formal course that you pay for, or you could simply take part in a casual language exchange with an English speaker who may be looking to learn your native language. If you are enrolling in a course, just make sure you choose one that is the right level, since your language skills have likely improved since you last enrolled in an English language course!
Make a study plan
It’s important to keep up your English studies so you don’t forget the new things you’ve learned. If you’re an independent worker, one way to do this is by making your own personal study plan. This will help you set goals and stay motivated without the companionship of your course mates.
Take up writing
If you already enjoy reading and writing, learning a new language will benefit you greatly because you will now have access to a whole different aspect of the literary world. If writing isn’t a hobby of yours, then maybe you could give it a try after returning home from your study abroad experience.
Return to visit your second home on a trip
Planning a trip may is a fun way to put all your new language skills into practice. You may want to return to visit the place you previously studied, or perhaps you want to visit a new English-speaking country where you can use your reading, speaking and listening skills. Having some grasp of a second language is a great way to immerse yourself more fully into another culture when you are travelling. If you wanted to combine two of the suggested skills – you could even keep a travel diary written in English.
So, what’s the next step for you in your English language learning journey?
Although you may originally feel quite sad that your language course is over, there’s lots to be excited about in your future language learning endeavours. Whether you plan on doing an online course in your hometown, attending an in-person English language group or simply polishing your skills while learning from your favourite TV programmes, there’s many ways to keep improving your English reading, listening, speaking and writing skills. Or, if you decide you want to go back to the UK, maybe you would like to do an Academic Course before enrolling in a bachelor’s course. If you’re looking for other ways to get back to the UK and continue studying English, check out or course list to see what other programmes you could study.