Perhaps the idea of travelling abroad to learn a new language seems a daunting one. Now imagine doing it on your own on top of that! Here at Oxford English Academy we often have students arrive on their own to learn English. I take my hat off to someone who is prepared to leave everything they know behind and travel to a foreign country solo. To some even our alphabet is Greek, excuse the pun.
However thinking about it, there are some definite advantages to going solo as opposed to travelling with a friend or family member. From the moment you say good bye to your loved ones at the airport it is completely up to you how your journey will unfold. During the flight you may still be able to keep to yourself but once you disembark you will have to scrape together every ounce of courage you have and take on a whole new world! The advantage you may ask? You can only rely on yourself and your limited knowledge of your new temporary home. This in effect ‘forces’ you to make use of every tool you have to get by doing day to day things. If your knowledge of the local language is very low I would suggest carrying a dictionary or have an app ready on your phone. I can assure you that you will get very creative when faced with having to explain the simplest of things in another language.
Once you get to school we encourage you to make friends with students from countries other than your own. We aim to keep our classes small and diverse to ensure as much communication takes place in English as possible. Every moment you spend in either Cape Town or Oxford should be utilised to learn as much as possible, be it while shopping , going on adventures or merely having coffee with a fellow student.
As much as travelling alone sounds lonely, you will most probably be immersed and functioning within your chosen school and family a lot faster than if you had been travelling in a group. Try it, I dare you! By the time you leave Oxford English Academy I guarantee you will feel like you are leaving family behind.