Study & Work Abroad Opportunities
Study abroad experiences are one of the most exciting, interesting and efficient ways to learn a language. Such experiences are often life changing for many individuals and their impact on many students’ lives can be considerable. Students frequently experience an exhilarating widening of their intellectual and social horizons through immersion in a new culture and their contact with the people who inhabit it and who have spoken the language since birth. It has been often said that people don’t really understand their own culture until they are fully immersed into a new one since it is at that time that one fully grasps the full extent of the arbitrary nature of one’s society’s collective customs, ways of thinking, cultural priorities and values. It is at such times that one becomes aware of the world’s cultural diversity and the full concrete impact of the word “culture” in one’s daily life.
It is not uncommon for students to opt for a language major after such an experience and many of our students have launched their professional careers and personal lives in cultural settings beyond the English world as a result of their language studies either here or abroad and the personal contacts with individuals from other cultures which their education experience has facilitated. Many of our former students now live and work in non-English speaking countries and environments such as France, Belgium, Quebec, Germany and South America. For many students, it is on the streets of these environments, where they interact with native speakers in their daily lives, that a language suddenly comes alive. Most students who return to continue their language programs after a study-abroad or immersion experience will find that their fluency and command of the language has greatly increased within a short period of time and will enjoy greater self-confidence in their language courses. Our department strongly encourages students of French, German and Spanish to complement their language studies at the University of Saskatchewan with participation in a study abroad or immersion program and it recommends the following options: