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I have been studying English for a while now (I started my learning experience at BROWNS) and I can say that the better my English has become, the more I enjoy traveling. I probably love to travel as much as you do. In fact, going to new places and meeting new people from different countries and cultures is one of the things I enjoy the most.  However, Iet me tell you that when you can’t speak English, it’s tough. It becomes a great limitation. Apart from making communication difficult, being unable to speak the language hinders you from getting where you want with ease, not to mention what you need when you get there. It was embarrassing for me when I sometimes did things in the wrong way just because I wasn’t able to seek assistance from locals due to the language barrier.

In most countries, English is the language most spoken even though it is not the native one. In fact, you can travel around the world and socialize with people everywhere if you can speak English. Generally, the advantages that come with learning this language for vacationers are many, valuable, and varied.

Why travel lovers should learn English?

English is the language most vacationers use with others. While traveling, you will likely spend most of your time connecting with other people on a bus, in a hotel, at airports, on the streets, and in other places. Most of those encountered are tourists who can communicate in this language such that socializing becomes more effective for you if you can speak it as well.

When speaking to visitors who speak English, immigration officers, hotel staff, taxi drivers, and others use it to communicate. If you can speak it yourself, you will not have any problems dealing with the locals. Therefore, if you are planning to visit a country where the native language is not the same as yours, it is advisable to learn English (at least the basics). Since it is an international language, you will most likely find someone who can speak it, making communicating much easier.

Advantages of learning English for travelers

If you understand and speak English, there are many advantages you will enjoy as a tourist:

  • Ease of expressing yourself: Expressing yourself becomes easier everywhere you go. It is simple to ask for something and even explain what you want. For instance, if there are complications at the airport, you can easily clarify them. In the hotel, you can ask for food and specify your preferred room. English enables you to get what you want and the best value for your money.
  • Making new friends becomes easier: When you can speak a common language, interacting with others becomes less challenging. English, for example, enables you to socialize with the locals in your tour destination and learn something about their lifestyle. This way, you will easily meet new people and establish relationships.
  • It enhances confidence: When you know that you can easily express yourself and even make new friends, your confidence improves during travel. Since you hear what the locals are saying, and can even ask questions, you ensure your safety by avoiding dangerous places, for example. When you learn English, getting insight into other people, their lifestyles, and recommended tourist areas becomes easy, thus enhancing your confidence.
  • Better experiences: Knowing the basics of the English language can assist you with every day pleasantries and crucial phrases frequently used while traveling. You are bound to have better experiences as anytime you go to a new place, you will need assistance from the locals. Even if they do not speak the language well, they most probably will understand the basics enough to assist you.
  • Independence: Tours are great, but I personally prefer to organize my own experiences. I can go to the places I prefer and stay for as long as I want. Not all activities offered on tours are for me, and they are usually done in a rush. When my English was not good enough, I was restricted to such organized tours and I had to rely on the guides. Now that I can speak and understand English, I have the freedom to visit and explore places more independently.

As a universal language, English is often used in tourist areas. Thus, even if you do not have a local tour guide, you will not have any problems getting to the attractions you want to visit.  By reading signs, you can also book accommodations and obtain other services in a foreign country without hiring a tour guide. This will save you money since hiring a tour guide can be costly in some regions. In addition, when you can speak a universal language, even bargaining for products and services becomes possible. This will not be the case if you do not speak English.

You learn more in a foreign country when you speak English

Perhaps there are things you have always wondered about life in a foreign country. When you learn English, understanding the local culture becomes easier because you can interact more effectively and make enquiries. As a traveler inquisitive about different cultures, you no doubt want to learn new things.

Generally speaking, there are many reasons for and advantages of learning English as a tourist. The most important point of all is that when you learn English, you are able to travel in a more straightforward manner on your own and overcome the major difficulties and challenges that face those who do not speak it well or at all.

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Santiago Ibarra

Digital Marketing and Recruitment Manager at BROWNS English Language School
As a BROWNS former student I am passionate about international education. Helping other students to live the Australian experience is one of the things I enjoy the most and Digital Marketing is the way I use to connect with them. Views are my own.