Studying a language in a country where it’s spoken is 100% the best way to learn a language. That’s why thousands of people travel to the United States each year to study English. And, while you could have an immersive language learning experience elsewhere in the anglosphere, studying in the US offers a number of benefits you can’t find in other places.
From New York City to Hollywood, California, the US is home to some of the most influential cities, industries, and universities in the world. In addition to that, it’s also just a really exciting, innovative place to be. Want more? Here are my top 5 reasons to study English in the US.
1. Live like a local
While you may not be born and raised in West Philadelphia, after living and studying there for a few months, you’ll return home with an accent as “Philly” as they come. But living in the country isn’t just about sounding like a local, it’s about living like one too. Take on the laid-back surfer vibe after spending time in Santa Barbara. Make Magnolia Bakery “your spot” in New York’s West Village. Spend your weekends sipping pints on the waterfront at Boston’s Faneuil Hall Marketplace, or write a blog about the best dumplings in San Francisco Chinatown. After a study abroad in the US, you’ll leave with more than language skills, you’ll have a new place to call “home.”
2. Prepare for university
Harvard, Stanford, MIT, Caltech – according to the QS World University Rankings, these four US universities are the best in the world right now. They welcome students from all over the world, but you have to be proficient in English.
Cue the IELTS. It’s one of the preferred English proficiency tests for universities in the US, but it’s also the gateway for top-tier schools in Britain, Canada, and other English-speaking countries. Having the language skills to pass this test opens the door for you to apply to the prestigious universities and colleges in the US.
3. Talk like an American
I know, I know – American English isn’t always the easiest to understand. We use confusing phrases like “I could care less” when we really mean to say “I couldn’t care less,” the regional accents and slang words are difficult to decipher, and the idioms – oh the idioms.
Nevertheless, once you’ve spent some time living with Americans, the accent becomes easier to understand, and you’ll quickly find yourself jumping from topic to topic. Some studies even show that engaging local colloquialisms when you speak a new language will help you better understand the culture.
4. Meet new people
Beyond studying, there are all sorts of valuable social aspects to studying abroad in the US. Whether you’re looking to attend university or find a job in your industry, the city where you are living will have conferences, speaking events, and exhibitions that are sure to give you the chance to network with potential colleagues, contacts, and future employers.
5. Live the city life
There is rarely a dull moment when you’re living in a US city. Spend your free time visiting famous film sites, trying out different restaurants, cheering at sporting events, or just exploring new neighborhoods on foot. Whether you decide to pursue the beach life in Miami Beach or opt for a more metropolitan setting like Boston or Chicago, learning English in the US is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will benefit you for years to come.