If you’ve ever spent time in another country, whether studying abroad, volunteering or just vacationing, you know how powerful the experience can be. There’s no better way to learn about other places and cultures than to see them firsthand — to taste the food, drink at the bars, take in the scenery, and form friendships with the locals. This kind of immersive experience is what makes culture come alive, and the same largely holds true for learning a new language. So why not combine the two? Introducing: language travel. Let’s embark on our own mini-voyage to see what the phenomenon is all about.
What Is Language Travel?
The concept of language travel is pretty simple: you travel to another country, where you split your time between attending language classes and experiencing the culture. Language travel companies, like Lingo Ventura (more on this later), act as an intermediary. They allow you to book the trip itself, classes at a local language school, transportation and even optional add-ons like a homestay with a local family.
Everything is customizable: you can go for as short as one week or as long as two years (and anywhere in between), you can sort by language or you can pick the destination first and let that dictate the language you learn, you can choose how intensive you want your classes to be, whether you want to stay in a family home or a student dorm, and even thrown in an internship if you’d like. The options are not quite endless, but pretty close.
The Power Of Immersion
While you can certainly learn a language with an app or in a U.S. classroom, immersion abroad can take your studies to the next level. When you participate in a language travel program, you’re physically surrounding yourself with the language and the culture. You’re living with other language students or with a host family that speaks the local language, you’re dining at restaurants and visiting museums where the language and culture are showcased and, of course, you’re taking classes at a local language school.
All of these elements combine to form a truly unique experience that will essentially force you to have the courage to speak the language, inevitably make mistakes and then learn from them and continue to improve.
Babbel, Meet Travel
In 2018, Babbel acquired Lingo Ventura, the language travel company mentioned above. This move puts Babbel on the path to enter the language travel marketplace, which would pair nicely with the language-learning app it’s known for.
While we don’t have details yet on what exactly this will look like, there are fairly obvious ways the two learning methods could go together. For example, someone who wants to learn Spanish could study with the Babbel app to get some of the basics, then they could sign up for a trip to Madrid, where they would take more in-depth Spanish classes and immerse themselves in the culture. After returning home, they can use the app to continue reviewing the Spanish they learned abroad. It’s the best of both worlds!