This is how I got into my dream college in France (no, i don’t know French!)
I began exploring my options for post-graduation the moment I completed my under-graduation. Even though I took two years for gaining some work experience, I wanted to be thorough with my application. As I explored my options for the best university for me, a lot of universities from France came up.
However, when I began researching a bit, it instantly struck me that there was forever going to be a language barrier. With less than one year to go, it would be near impossible to take a course and become comfortable with the language!
Despite people advising me against it, I decided to seek professional advice from a counsellor, and after a lot of positive response, I decided to go ahead with it any way.
Turns out, language may seem to be a big hurdle, but it can be overcome quite easily. For those who are stopping themselves from pursuing higher education from amazing universities like INSEAD, HEC, CEIBS and so on, I present to you a simple 5 step guide to help you cope up with the language barrier that you are so afraid of.
STEP 1- Remove the Mental Barriers
Nothing’s Impossible! The first step you need to take is to remove the mental barrier that says it can’t be done. Yes, learning a new language all together may seem a daunting task, but it is not as difficult as it seems. With a planned approach, you can pursue your dream. To help you remove these barriers, I’d suggest you go to a career counsellor and seek professional advice on whether you can pursue your dream course. 99 out of 100 times, it will be a yes.
STEP 2- Talk to the college ambassadors
Contact the college ambassadors of the host country. Ask them if language is a pre-requisite before you enter the country- can an English speaker do fine? If the answer is no, proceed to the STEP 3, if not, you could skip to STEP 4. You should also ask about the courses your university offers to help cope with the language problem. The college ambassador will be able to help you with all the information you need.
STEP 3- Take a crash course
If the language is a pre-requisite, and university offers no courses, think about taking a crash course while you are still in India. You could go for online courses on Coursera or you could join a crash course at the embassy of the country your University is located in. Even if your university offers a complementary language course, but you are still worried about the language, you should take a basic course to boost your morale.
STEP 4- Take the university classes
While mostly elective, the university language programs help a great deal in learning the native language. Since the fellow students are also from various nationalities, it makes practicing easier and a fun way to learn. These courses usually start a couple months before the session starts, so check with your college ambassador or website about the same.
STEP 5 (BONUS)- Find accommodation in Indian locality
For the few starting months when I was accommodating myself to France, I decided to stay in an Indian locality where people had been staying for months. They helped me a great deal to get comfortable in a foreign country, and also helped a lot with learning the language. Not only this, being surrounded by fellow Indians in a foreign land will help you build relations that will go a long way throughout your university life.
The bottom line is simple- Don’t let language stand between you and your dream college. Learning a language to the core may be hard, but basic communication comes easy. Further, the locals are also very accommodating in foreign countries, and tend to help you out when they see you trying.