Much more than just English: why learning a language overseas is worth it

Last week should have been my last month in Cairns. My flight was booked for 23 November. My family was waiting for me and when I close my eyes I am able to imagine them awaiting my arrival with a big smile on their faces. However, I am here sitting down at my sharehouse, not at home, in front of this computer so far away from my friends and family.

Indeed if you read only this first paragraph perhaps you might imagine that I am upset. Please, do not think that, because I need to warn you that it was the best choice that I have ever been made.

I do not want to be a liar and say to you that my life has been totally uncomplicated here because it is not as easy as people imagine. On the other hand, I am sure that during this time I have been getting an overwhelming amount of knowledge, not only about English but also about myself, and it is priceless.

I do not want to do an overproduced post only with amazing pictures and saying good things about living and studying abroad. It is easy to contrive a story in which everything looks perfect. If you look on the Internet you will find a bunch of texts, articles, and videos telling amazing how life is when you decide to live overseas. It is true, it is really fantastic, but that is not the whole story.

When you previously decided to move to another country do you think that the hardest part was when you needed to give up on everything that you had to be able to travel.
At first, it is indeed true, although this idea becomes only a little dot after a few months living by yourself. At this moment you will start to realize that the biggest threat is knowing how to deal with your feelings, emotions, and consequently with your self-conceit about getting what you came to seek. Here I do not have a diploma. I am not a journalist. I am a cleaner, a waiter or a dishwasher with a lot of pride.

To know yourself is no doubt one of the best gifts when you decide to live abroad on your own. Together with that, the sensation that you are improving your English mainly in those classics moments, such as when you are watching a movie and you can understand almost everything, even though it is in another language or while you are talking with a new native friend and you are able to converse with them are also in the list of the best sensations that you can feel when you decide to live abroad.

On this journey, you will improve much more than your language skills. You will realize that you are stronger than you imagined. That you are able to travel alone even though you are a girl – yeah, it is possible. You will push yourself because nobody here will do that for you. You will be alone but at the same time will be surrounded by friends that will become your second family. You will see that if a person is important in your life in a reciprocal way you are going to keep in contact with them, regardless of the distance.

My flight has already gone. My family and friends are still waiting for me, I remember them constantly, and it was the best choice that I have made.

Debora Komukai, Upper-Intermediate B

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About CCEB

We are teachers and students at the Cairns College of English and Business (CCEB). How lucky are we to work and study in the Australian Wet Tropics with the world's oldest rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef at our doorstep! We would like to share our happy posts with the world! Welcome to the CCEB space eveyone.

One thought on “Much more than just English: why learning a language overseas is worth it

  1. Hi Debora, as you know, I’m a big fan of your articles. I absolutely looooove the depth of whatever you decide to write about. You seem to see what’s invisible to the eye 😉 I’m happy that you’ve decided to extend your Australian adventure and that you didn’t depart on that flight of 23rd November. <3 Keep writing Lovely!

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