An expat story: learning a new language online

An expat story: learning a new language online

Last update on December 04, 2018

In case you were wondering, yes, this is another expat story. Like many readers, I’m yet another young professional who wanted to gain some extra life experience. I started looking for a job in a different country, and guess what: I got an offer in Germany. 

My girlfriend is German, so the match was tailormade. You may imagine how it felt to embark on such a journey. I was ecstatic!

I was to work in a typical German start-up, with lots of young people from around the world, innovative ideas and a lot of growth potential. In such a fast-paced international environment, English was the company language. So far so good, I thought, though I still had much to plan to move my whole life from one country to another, including a lot of paperwork to fill out and flats to view.

But before I knew it, I was settled in and very excited about the new opportunities that life had presented.

Overcoming the language barrier

But then one problem began to bother me more and more each day. While I had met many people, and some had even become great friends, they were all expats like myself. Don’t get me wrong: spending time with people with the same experience was a lot of fun, but I had the feeling I was missing out on the “real experience”. I felt like a tourist that goes on holiday to Mallorca and immediately hits the first Irish pub he sees, never making the effort to immerse himself with the local Spanish culture.

I decided to take action and make an effort to learn the language. This is when the struggle began — and it turns out it’s not just my problem. My romantic idea of learning a new language in addition to my day job, grocery shopping, cleaning and other daily chores began to crumble: I couldn’t do it all. Even signing up was a battle, as most language courses were full and required complicated bureaucratic steps. Then, of course, there was the commute to the German language school after work and the inflexible hours. When I did manage to get to class, I was lost. To make long story short, I failed horribly — just look at how the German language changes depending on the region.

I thought of studying German by myself without a fixed schedule and having my girlfriend correct my mistakes. As anyone with a German partner knows, however, that almost never works.

Lingoda - Germany

Discovering online language schools

I couldn’t believe that in this modern age there were no other options. I started researching, and I found the answer to my prayers: an online language school called Lingoda! With live classes, qualified teachers, and, perhaps the best feature, 24/7 availability (so no more inconvenient schedules), it was almost too good to be true. I had to give it a shot — and boy, was I impressed!

I started with one of their trial lesson for EUR 0.99. The teacher was great: we did some basic exercises to check my level of German, and she adapted to it. After such a great first impression, I decided to sign up for their mixed package with group and private classes. After fixing some of my internet connection issues, I started organising my calendar to include at least three hours of language class a week. It’s so comfortable to have class on Sunday at noon without leaving the house, and yes, in my pyjamas!

It’s already been a month since I started, and my excitement and motivation is still very high. Since it’s also recognised by the CEFR, I will receive an official language certificate for every level completed (A1 to C2). Adding the lack of commute, the comfort of my own home and high-quality teachers, Lingoda has the perfect combination!

If you want to give Lingoda a try, you can use this code for 15 percent off: EXA15.

Contributed by Lingoda

Lingoda - Online language learning