Living in a country for a few days, weeks or months sounds like a nice way of studying a language, doesn’t it? Yeah, but if planning a linguistic trip doesn’t sound too bad, choosing the ideal destination can be a bit more complicated. After all, you have a wide range of choices! To facilitate your decision-making, we’ve compiled a selection of the 17 best destinations around the world for a linguistic trip. Whether you want to study German, Spanish, Arabic, or Chinese, you might find your future place of study, and maybe even of residence, in this article.
English: Top 3 Destinations for a Linguistic Trip for English Learners
How could we list the best destination to study English without mentioning London?
London has one HUGE advantage: English is spoken as a native language there (true British English, that is). Not only that, but London is a city to be discovered for its cultural richness and the diversity of its population. When you come back from a linguistic trip to London, you’ll feel like you’ve been to multiple countries after having visited neighborhoods like Camden, Soho, Piccadilly, and Notting Hill. Each of London’s neighborhoods has a different ambiance and style of living. Whether you want to visit the town’s underground clubs, the most reputable museums in Europe, or combine both food and language learning, you’re bound to enjoy yourself in this European capital. The perks of this trip? British English, a beautiful base for your learning, and the open-mindedness of Londoners.
What else could you ask for?
Saint Julian’s (Malta)
Some of you might be put off by London’s bad weather… No need to worry, there are other options! For people who don’t like cold weather, how about Malta? More specifically, Saint Julian’s.
Saint Julian’s is a small town situated on the Mediterranean coast. It offers the charm of a fishing village, a huge scuba-diving spot, and lots of nightlife. A pleasant destination to escapes daily life for a few days during your holidays or during a few weeks during your linguistic trip.
Costa Mesa (US)
When you think of the USA, you think of New York, Los Angeles, Washington… rarely of Costa Mesa, Orange County. Orange County, however, groups together the biggest names in the USA: Hollywood, Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, and more. That’s right, Orange County, as its name suggests, is nothing else than a county in the State of California.
But why opt for Costa Mesa as a destination for a linguistic trip? It’s a small Californian town that is pleasant to live in, calm and multicultural. Situated less than an hour away from Los Angeles, you’ll be able to take advantage of an enjoyable, warm, and welcoming atmosphere which is, of course, all in an environment where you can make round trips to Los Angeles whenever you feel like it. Costa Mesa has a very calm life to offer, and is thus ideal to study a language after an afternoon on long beaches on the Pacific Ocean, right before having dinner at a nice little Californian restaurant. Tempting, isn’t it? Let us tell you more about it here.
Two destinations to study Spanish
Barcelona, to me, is to Spain as London is to Great Britain. I couldn’t fathom NOT going to Barcelona to study Spanish (Castilian, and some Catalan). Barcelona may not be the capital city of Spain, but it is the capital of cultural diversity, Spanish cuisine, architecture, Mediterranean beaches… Barcelona is rich in culture: those who love architecture will love walking in the Parc Güell of Antonio Gaudi, and those with a good palate will love sipping una cerveza while having tapas (I recommend Ciudad Condal to taste some of the best). However, Barcelona is also, and mostly, a pleasant city to live in no matter the season or time of the day. One of my personal favorites for a linguistic trip in full immersion in Spanish culture.
A fascinating city found in Latin America, Havana is probably one of the most beautiful destinations to study Spanish. Of course, choosing just one destination from Latin America wasn’t easy. Buenos Aires, Santiago, Medellin, Playa del Carmen… So many names that make you want to buy a one-way plane ticket by their very mention. So, why choose Havana?
Because of its beaches which are kilometers-long, for the richness of its colonial patrimony dating from the Spanish era, for its laid-back atmosphere so typical of the Caribbean, for its beautiful cars from the 50s, for its hiking and scuba diving possibilities, and for its music, its music, and its music (we could never repeat it enough: singing is an original and efficient way to study a language). To go for a linguistic trip to Cuba is to quickly learn Spanish at the sound of Cuban music all while meeting a beautifully and naturally-tanned population from which you’ll go back a new person. Guaranteed. Find more information here.
Two destinations for a linguistic trip in Italy
Why choose this linguistical destination?
It’s a magnificent city… Yep, it was THAT easy.
Florence is a flagship tourist destination in Italy. All amateurs of beautiful stones, those with a passion for history and art can be found there. Florence is the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance which attracts thousands of tourists each year. Choosing Florence as your destination to learn Italian is choosing to live la Dolce Vita Italian style. Please note: anyone who loves being served nice little dishes will not be at a loss, we can guarantee that. Find out more here.
Situated at the tip of the famous Italian boot. A calm, nice place with, above all, magnificent landscapes. There, cliffs are face-to-face with small beautiful beaches with transparent blue waters, all coupled with nice little houses with atypical decorations. It’s the ideal place to study Italian in an atypical setting, all under a soft Mediterranean climate. Calabria attracts sportsmen, all hiking lovers, and any who simply like to take advantage of beautiful landscapes in a quiet place. Find out more here.
Two destinations to study French
Why Nice? Nice is a synonym for glamour, top-end, and sunny beaches. I mean… come on! Who could resist the Promenade du Paillon, the Promenade des Anglais and the Bay of Angels? Make sure you spend quite a bit of your time in the old town though, this is where all the real Niçois can be found. Two additional advantages Nice has to offer is that it’s so close to Italy, you could go there and back for the weekend. How about that! You can go have a short holiday in Italy during your holidays (er, yes. Linguistic trip. It’s all about very serious studies, remember?) in France. “The second advantage?” you ask? You can get to Monaco in no less than30-45 minutes! Yep, going to Nice means you could go have a few day trips to Monaco. Interested? Click here, then!
Maybe a little easier to get there for some, Montreal is the biggest city in Quebec. Set on an island in the Saint Lawrence River and known for being a clean and pleasant city, Montreal has a lot to offer to all its visitors no matter what their tastes… It has places like Old Montréal and Downtown Montréal and plenty of museums for those interested in history and architecture, and it has plenty of organized festivals such as the Montréal’s International Jazz Festival and the Just for Laughs Festival for those who like to have a bit of fun when on their linguistic trip. Temptation, temptation, temptation, right? Well, click here for even more temptation.
Two destinations for a linguistic trip to study Portuguese
Lisboa. Once more, here’s a nice, warm, and exotic place. Why choose this destination for a linguistic trip?
Lisbon attracts poets, partygoers, food lovers, and all those interested in architecture. It’s willing to host anyone slightly interested in its country, its culture, and its richness. There, old buildings flirt the latest boutiques, and the traditional codfish restaurants cohabit with the coolest bars. All of this gathered in a city with small streets known for their paved floors. Just as Barcelona, Lisbon is a pleasant Mediterranean city to live in, both safe, and quiet, while still being very much alive.
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)
In Lisbon, you’ll learn Portuguese. In Rio de Janeiro, you’ll learn carioca: a somewhat different version of traditional Portuguese… a singing and sunny Portuguese. And that’s why studying Spanish in Rio is not a bad thing… far from it! Because once you understand the Portuguese spoken in Rio, you’ll understand any version of Portuguese! Conversely, you might find it hard to communicate with Cariocas if you’re not familiar with it. However, apart from gaining a beautiful accent, (planning a linguistic trip to Rio de Janeiro will allow you to discover a rich, interesting, lively, and marvelous city (it’s not called Cidade maravilhosa* for nothing) …
Everything about Rio ought to be discovered: its food and fresh fruits, its beaches, its hilly city, its music, more precisely, Samba and, above all, its population. A homogeneous population… one which will appreciate your desire to study Portuguese, and which will not hesitate in helping you with this desire of yours.
Two destinations to study German
How could we speak of Germany without mentioning its cosmopolitan, animated, completely urban, historical, and cultural character? Berlin is a new reference point in terms of music, design, and fashion. It attracts visitors from around the world in search of new experiences and an exciting life. This makes Berlin the cosmopolitan town by excellence. Yep, it’s a great destination to study German. And maybe even to study Spanish, English, Chinese… as in any cosmopolitan town.
If you’re looking for some calm and relaxation from your trip, I’d advise you to skip to the next destination. But for any of you who are looking for a lively town – one that never sleeps – Berlin is the perfect choice for you.
If I chose Frankfort, it’s not
only because of its famous sausages, but because of three mains reasons:
- its economical aspect. Frankfort happens to be the economical capital of Germany, the 5th town in the country, 3rd business district in Europe, and hometown of the ECB. That’s all!
- the different animations which make up its annual agenda. Sporting events, concerts, street parties… Frankfort is an active town, and your agenda will feel it.
- its “nature” environment. Don’t be fooled, apart from being a good student in terms of economy and culture, it also is in terms of environment-friendliness. This town has numerous parks scattered around and big forests along its outskirt. So, if big towns scare you, maybe Frankfort’s alliance between urban dynamism and calm nature will make this town an ideal destination for a linguistic trip. Let us tell you more about it here.
Two destinations to study “Chinese”
No one really studies Chinese, you learn Chinese dialects. In this case, you’ll be learning the Mandarin dialect, the most spoken dialect in China. Beijing is thus a must-go place to study Chinese, all while visiting China. Adding to this linguistic advantage, Beijing is a perfect destination for a full immersion in Chinese culture. Tai-Chi, calligraphy, local cuisine, customs, and traditions… When visiting Beijing for a linguistic trip, you won’t just be learning a language: you’ll learn a culture, a way of life. Want more information? Find it right here.
Hong Kong (China)
Why Hong Kong? From an outsider’s point of view, Honk Kong makes us think of an Asian version of New York. But don’t make this mistake, this town is truly unique,
“The fragrance of harbor” (as its name is translated) is a fascinating town that astonishes – and even deeply moves – all those who visit it. Its culture, its way of life, how frenetic it is, the mixture of its population, its buildings… Hong Kong is truly an engaging town. The reason I chose it as a flagship destination to study Cantonese: not only will you quickly be learning its language, but you will also quickly learn to live a whole new way.
Arabic: the best places to study it
It isn’t easy to learn Arabic because of its many dialects. However, Rabat is an ideal destination to learn this language. Why’s that? You won’t just be studying this language by memorizing pronunciation, writing, and syntax. You’ll also be learning its cultural heritage – very rich in this city. Rabat is a town full of contrast which is bound to seduce lovers of architecture, art, and anything beautiful (as simple as that). A town where the medina, the markets, and its narrow and maze-like streets mix with all that is modern to it, with its dynamic and neighborhoods where business is conducted.
To be discovered right here… before discovering it for real.
Why Casablanca? Probably simply because the mere mention of its name evokes a feeling of love (and not just for languages, love in general).
Casablanca is a town where the Moroccan culture is very strong; you only need to take a walk in the medina quarter and the old city to feel it. It is also one of the youngest and most dynamic towns of the country: it alone has around 60% of the economic activities of the country. Completely revolved around business, it does have its share of bars, restaurants, and cultural places, all this for the pleasure of locals and visitors. A town that is sure to seduce you with its dynamics, attractiveness, and the beauty of its roads.
*Cidade maravilhosa: Marvelous city
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