Ask any foreign language teacher, and they will tell you that the best way to learn a language is to become fully immersed in it.
You can only learn so much from reading, writing and speaking the language for short amounts of time. First hand experience, day in and day out, is an incredibly quick and effective way to master any language!
But most people don’t have the money or time to hop on a plane and live abroad for a few weeks. The solution?
English is a difficult language to learn. While you were probably lucky enough to learn it as an infant, many people don’t share the same luxury. Being immersed in English is a great way to learn the language, meaning that a lot of people are just like you! They’re wishing for an opportunity to live abroad and become an English speaking pro.
Swapping homes with similar persons in the country whose language you’d like to learn provides the best opportunity for both. Maybe you’re living in Chicago, but you’d like to become more proficient in German? No problem. There’s probably someone in Frankfurt who’d love to live in Chicago, immersed in English on a daily basis!
You just have to find them.
Using an accredited site like Home Exchange, you only have to pay a small fee and you’ll have access to a database of users who would love to swap homes with you. In short, while you’re living in Frankfurt at Franziska’s house, she’ll be squatting at your place in Chicago! Be sure to find a site with a good track record, read reviews of other’s who’ve used the service and contact your potential swappers to see if you think it’ll be a good fit.
If you have any reservations about loaning your place out to a specific potential house swapper, don’t do it. Only swap with people with whom you feel totally comfortable.
Hold out until you find a match that you really feel compatible with, and when the time comes to make the switch, treat their place with the same level of respect you’d expect at your house.
Take an initiative to compile a list of places you’d like to see, things you’d like to learn, and cultural activities you want to check out. Learn all you can while you’re there and ask the homeowner to leave a list of suggestions for you. You can return the favor by leaving a to-do list of suggested activities to help your guest get a feel for the city!
Use the housing swap opportunity to your full advantage! Speak the language as much as possible while you’re there and immerse yourself fully in the culture! You’ll learn more than you ever thought possible.