Frida Emma

Frida & Emma Svensson: New Language and Culture

One of the big reasons I chose to study abroad was to learn a new language and culture. In my case, I wanted to learn English as a second language. I had been in the U.S. many times before so I knew what to expect. Before moving to the States, I was anxious about managing the language in social life and especially in school. According to studies and experiences from friends, the most common fears and anxieties students have about studying abroad are language difficulties.

Before moving, I listened to friends with similar experiences, who told me the language would always be tough in the beginning and that reading, writing and understanding would take a long time. However, they said it would be easier after awhile and they suggested that I be patient and positive.

Coming to a new country with a completely different culture can be overwhelming. I moved from the small country of Sweden, which is full of shy and reserved people, to the United States, a country made up of out-going and extremely friendly people. I also moved away from healthy food and came to America which has fast food everywhere. So before the move, I had to accept and respect the changes I was about to face.

Now that I have been living in the States for almost a year, I understand what my friends were talking about. Moving to a foreign country and learning the language is tough in the beginning. Everything takes a long time but as long as you stay patient, positive and willing to learn and improve, it becomes no big deal. When you are surrounded with the language every day in school, at practice, at work and with friends, there is no question you will develop your new language. As your language improves, your skills and your confidence will also improve.

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