Many high school and college students learn foreign languages, but they don't get to practice them until they travel abroad. No matter how many years of French or Spanish you took in school, there is no comparing the level of experience you get when you immerse yourself in the culture. I have several friends who traveled abroad after graduating from college. Upon returning, they all spoke the native tongue better than they ever had before.
If you want to travel abroad, but you don't think you can afford it, you might want to consider looking for work as an English teacher. You don't even have to know the native tongue to teach English in another country. In fact, most language programs prefer if you speak only English in the classroom. Many programs provide training and housing for potential new teachers. If you want to work in another country, one of the first things you need to do is apply for a visa to work in that country. Many training programs provide you with step-by-step instructions for applying for a visa. Many teachers enter foreign countries on tourist visas and then apply in person for work visas. If this is something you plan on doing, you need to apply for a visa as soon as possible.
If you want to apply for a visa, it's a good idea to contact the nation's foreign embassy or consulate general. In some cases you can visit the embassy here in the United States. If you enter a country with a tourist visa, you need to find out how much time you have to apply for a work permit. In this day and age it's crucial for Americans living abroad to hold proper identification and work permit papers at all times.
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