Mobility in Ireland: http://www.eurireland.ie/
Language learning doesn’t always have to be in the classroom or language lab. Learning a language provides you with a perfect opportunity to travel and spend an extended period of time in the target language country. This could take the form of a study abroad period, work placement abroad, a student exchange programme or even participating in a language course in the host country of your choice. There are a wide range of programmes which you can avail of, many of which are given recognition by your college and which also provide financial support to learners keen to improve their language skills abroad.
Immersing yourself in the target culture and spending time abroad is the best way to improve your language skills and work towards proficiency. It’s also a really enjoyable way to improve your fluency levels, meet new people and familiarise yourself with the new culture. A whole new world opens up to us when we can speak another language. We are able to develop a better understanding and knowledge of other cultures and the diversity of the world we live in. Our perspectives change and we begin to see and understand our own language and culture in a new way. Learning a language means a lot more than passing exams or getting good marks. It is about opening up new life opportunities, making new friends in different countries, experiencing other cultures and broadening your horizons. European Commission on Multilingualism
Having competence in a foreign language helps us communicate with other nationalities and to feel confident in our ability to move between countries and engage with people from other cultures. Learning a language can be an enjoyable life-long pursuit, which enables you to not just experience, but to be part of the language, culture and people of a country while studying, working and living abroad. There is a great sense of achievement when we succeed in ‘making ourselves at home’ adapting to a new culture and it is very motivating when our language learning results in successful communication and interaction in our new environment.
Career prospects are greatly enhanced with increased fluency in the language. Taking the initiative to travel abroad and immerse yourself in the host culture is not just admirable but enormously beneficial on many levels. By living, studying or working abroad in another culture you are developing both your academic, professional and personal skills and qualities. By learning another language, you make yourself more attractive to potential employers, offering a skill that is highly relevant to Europe’s increasingly mobile and multicultural workforce.
When we succeed in learning one new language our chances of learning further new languages in the future are greatly increased because we have developed the know-how and confidence to undertake the task. In today’s globalised world, greater international co-operation has increased the need for international communication and thus the demand for competent foreign language speakers.
This publication includes different viewpoints on virtual mobility and collects descriptions of best practice cases and projects that have been presented during the Move-IT events and which can be a source of inspiration for everyone who is considering engaging in organising virtual mobility activities.