With the development of globalization, this means that students need to be more capable of completing their work in order for them to be in the position of facing international work in the future. In such terms, In the near future, many people will meet people from different countries, so we need to learn a foreign language to communicate with them in an appropriate manner. Despite the increase in world competition for better jobs, some graduates still lack communication capabilities, cross-cultural skills of communicating and the international experience which is essential in succeeding in this global world. So that is the major reason as to why the majority of the people prefer to study abroad. In that regard, the reason is that the biggest difficulty in studying abroad is the exchange of language, we need to improve our communication skills in a foreign environment. What is the impact of language barriers on us? I will be explored the language barriers would bring international students some problems and how do we overcome language barriers.
In fact, studying abroad can be very challenging. Not only that it is thousands of miles away from home but also when the language is different from the local language. There will be a lot of embarrassing situation because of a different language. For example, this the embarrassing thing that happened to me, when I first entered the university for the first week, on Saturday evening, my American roommate Invited me to watch the movies. At that time I was super excited, I ask her the film is about Transformers movies or romantic movies." my roommate shook his head said: no, is a comedy." I am happier to say: American drama in most cases is the cartoon?" She smiled and mysteriously said: wait for a while, you know what the film. Then I have been looking forward to this movie, we went to the penning hall to watch the film, also, waiting for the movie in the process, we said hello to each other. It was not the best feeling when I was watching the movie, because I have never seen an English movie without subtitles, and it was not the best feeling while other people were laughing together and I was confused all the time. In this case of culture, it makes it hard for me to understand why they laugh, and because there are no subtitles that I cannot understand the dialogue of the film right away. From my excitement to confusion, made to me know that the challenge of studying abroad is to overcome the language barrier.
The issue of why many students want to pursue their studies abroad is, in fact, addressing the larger matter of language barrier. The language barrier is one of the most critical issues facing most international students and especially those who come from non-English speaking countries. Language proficiency can have a tremendous effect on a students ability to develop and learn due to the role it plays in the information transmission (Ballentine p.301). For example, People will communicate with other people, through the exchange of our information and knowledge to spread to each other. On the other hand, if the students have language barriers, then the way he wanted to express things cannot spread. As in my story, I cannot understand the contents of the film cannot understand the interpretation of American friends, because of language problems let me to be confused. In such terms, this makes the information between us not to spread. Of which they end up going through a tough time making sense of the whole process due to the language barrier issue. But despite the language barriers many foreigners still want to pursue their studies abroad. Most people think that under different environmental factors will improve their communication skills.
Evidence shows that most students have their reasons for wanting to continue their education in abroad. Some of them include the possibility of learning at a college with a strong global reputation (Ballentine p.293). As more colleges prevail with regards to developing their global respect, there are presently considerably more institutions for the prospecting international students to choose from than earlier. For some students, the chance to spend more time submerged in a culture other than their forms a major part of the interest in studying abroad. The evidence recorded that employers from a vast spectrum of sectors and industries preferred applicants who had studied abroad. Their reasons being these individuals showed creativity in problem-solving when it comes to unfamiliar situations; they can adapt to a culturally different setting of which statistics records a total of 80% of such study abroad students. 100% of international students usually mark an improvement in their GPA as they continue their education despite having had a terrible start resulting from the environment change (Study abroad n.p). Despite what a person decision is for wanting to study abroad, language barrier remains to be an issue. Most of the international students have a problem with self-confidence. And this is a key point when it comes to learning a new language. Reason being, social integration and constant communication with the other students help to strengthen a person proficiency in a language (Mulvey p.330).
Some readers will challenge my view by saying that language barrier does not affect social interaction. What people need to understand is that it is only by interacting with the locals that when the international students can find it easier to form friendships and social groups that gives them a sense of belonging. Most international students usually have the desire to make new friends, but the local students sometimes end up not responding openly to them, which makes the international students retrieve to their comfort zone and only interact with those who understand their language. The fact is that international students who are proficient in English face minimal anxiety and perceived humiliation and are less self-conscious about their ethnic backgrounds and accents.
For me, as I began my studies abroad I joined an international group. In the beginning, I had a tough time as a new member of the team. The problem was the fact that the leader of the group had not introduced me to the members which made them perceive me as an intruder. Most of the team members did not talk to me reason being, some of them could not find anything to discuss with me. To make matters worse, there was a sporting competition in the neighboring country which I did not attend because I was not aware of, as it was my first week of joining the club. It was a painful experience for me since I was not proficient in speaking English and this made it tough for me to initiate conversations with the other students and group members. So, I approached the leader of the club about the issue, and he advised me to take it upon myself to make the other members know me. So, during the next club meeting, I could introduce myself to the club members, unlike the first time when I was feeling shy. And I discovered that after introducing myself the club members were all active and replied to my emails congratulating me for joining their team. And this made me appreciate the fact that I was finally making a progress.
At the same time, I believe that apart from helping in overcoming the language barrier, studying abroad is helpful in equipping students with the essential soft skills, something that seems to be increasing in significance within the most working environment. The evidence from Study Abroad shows that 96% of students attribute their self-confidence to studying abroad while 89% of the graduates attributed their tolerance to ambiguity to the same. Most of the students who pursue their studies in abroad usually show improvement in core traits as opposed to their other counterparts. These include extraversion, openness, agreeableness, emotional stability, and conscientiousness. There is no doubt that pursuing studies in abroad upgrades a graduate's resume, boosting their odds to awe a potential manager with their worldwide viewpoint except for the issue of language barrier.
Making the decision to pursue my studies in abroad marked a major turning point in my life. Initially, I was not confident enough to address my students. Standing in front of a crowd to even just introduce myself was a major challenge. But with time I could overcome this, and as for now, I can confidently interact with all the students without having a difficult time. And the fact that my English is still not that fluent does not bar me from actively participating in the club and pursue my dreams. The other students are equally supportive me which helped so much in boosting my confidence and made me to feel like I belong there. I believe that making the decision to pursue my studies in abroad was the best thing to ever happen in my life.
In conclusion, the process of studying abroad needs to be well done. It should not be a different or unrelated part of training, yet rather a coordinated part of the educational modules, fusing supportive reintegration and cross-cultural preparation to help students comprehend and internalize all they learn. With more flexible and available choices, the hindrances presented by race, ethnicity and language barrier can all be overcomed. Educator, teacher, other students ought to support making the international experience a fundamental and moderate part of a balanced education. At the beginning of my studies, I had confidence issues due to the language barrier. But as per now, I can say I am at a better place in my studies, and I have my fellow students to thank for their continued support in helping me to boost my self-confidence and overcome language barriers.
Ballentine, B. D. Creativity Counts: Why Study Abroad Matters to Technical and Professional Communication. Technical Communication Quarterly, (2015): 24(4), 291-305. Web.
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Liqing, T, Magret, B and Wayne, H. Study Abroad.
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Mulvey, L. Why study abroad? Why not!. Educational Research and Innovation Languages in A Global World, (2012): 319-332. Web.
Study Abroad. http://studyabroad.ucmerced.edu/study-abroad-statistics/statistics-study-abroad Accessed on 12th March 2017.
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