How to Stay Motivated in Language Learning (Even When You're Not Feeling It)

language motivation

In our latest podcast episode, my co-host Lindsay Dow and I found ourselves discussing one of the big topics in language learning: the ultimate struggles, good moments and bad moments.

These are true for every language learner we've ever spoken to, so if you're suffering from one of these issues, you are most definitely not alone. And since I've recently spent a bit of time hitting the books to learn more about the science of language learning in linguistics and psychology, I've added 4 research-backed motivation tips to help you love language learning again.

The Ultimate Good In Language Learning

1) Understanding Something You Didn't Expect to Understand

No matter if it's a few words of an overheard conversation or the name of a shop, there is magic in that moment when you realize you know this language. When you understand something new, you participate in unlocking the world around yourself - truly a moment worth waiting and working for!

And as Lindsay points out, this is one reward that never goes away after you cash in. Language learning is an eternal project, and that good feeling is going to be yours time and time again as you improve your skills.

In scientific research, the good feelings and sense of joy you gain from using your intelligence and learning something new are called intrinsic motivation. This describes actions you undertake out of interest, curiosity or because you find something personally rewarding (and not because you're getting paid or instructed). Those moments of feeling smarter and experiencing your personal growth are the internal payment you give yourself for all the hard work of language study.

Becoming aware of them and making a note when you do feel awesome is a great way to stay motivated later in the game, so try keeping a learning diary or sharing your achievements with others whenever you understand something new. You can even start today by commenting here on the blog!

2) Showing People That You Can Speak Their Language

I had this moment in an airport café once. My waitress was just dropping off the bill and as I that noticed the little Polish flag on her name tag, I said "oh, you speak Polish!" She stopped for a few minutes and we started chatting about Poland, Germany and languages, with me demonstrating the very few Polish words I know. But as soon as I even said czesz (hello), her eyes lit up. She said she was so excited and pleased that someone was learning her native language, and how rare it was for this to happen in London. I was excited too, so happy that I'd managed to make her morning.

Even when you can only say 5 words in someone's language, your interest and respect for their home can really make their day. Have you ever found yourself in that feeling? For me it's one of the most wonderful things that can happen to a language learner, and it always keeps me going and trying.

The reward of connecting with new people is a motivation for many language learners. Social psychologist Robert Gardner called this the integrative motive, recognising how language learning motivation can be affected by how much you want to talk to people, how much you want to connect and how curious you are about your target language's culture.

Does that sound familiar to you? If you're feeling like you need a boost for studying, try connecting with someone new. It could be a native speaker on italki or a friend at an event - what matters is that you remember how great it is to connect with people who speak your target language.

The Ultimate Struggle in Language Learning

We are all such busy people, and it's hard to put a foreign language up there along with other priorities like family care, paid work, or (for me) editing a podcast. Life's crazy, you guys, and that's why I have put time management at the top of all our language learning struggle charts.

Procrastination is a big issue here too. You sit around and find yourself doing the dishes or pairing your socks before you'll even look at that vocab list again.

How can we beat procrastination? My top tip is to ease off the pressure, make your language learning journey more interesting (yes! more videos - sometimes!) and set yourself smaller, more challenging goals. So forget "getting fluent" for now, and ask yourself how you can get a little bit better this week.

The Ultimate Bad in Language Learning

What could be the worst thing about language learning? There are so many great reasons for learning languages, yet something stands in your way. What is it?

For me, one of the biggest boulders in the way of your fluency dreams is feeling like you are not good enough. Research has actually backed this up, showing that low self-efficacy (that's when you think you won't be able to do it) and low self-worth (that's when you think you are too stupid or forgetful or ) really do knock the motivation out of

What solution could there be? Try embracing the Growth Mindset, in other words find the benefits of being lousy right now. It means that you've got infinite scope for improvement, and there is a lot of evidence to show that nothing in language learning is beyond you right now.

It also helps to stop for a minute and look back on what you've already achieved. Learning a foreign language to "fluency" (whatever that means to you) is a long-term game, a journey in which you are always travelling forward. So give yourself some credit. What can you do now that you couldn't do a year ago?

How to Beat Your Language Learning Demons

Fear of forgetting words, fear of speaking, fear of judgement. Is that you? If you connect to those negative feelings, scroll back up to the good parts of language learning. Sometimes it's worth investing a little time in your own mindset before you go back to the books and apps.

Two things that make the negatives worthwhile and reward you so much:

1. That moment where you understand something and you didn't expect it

2. That other moment where someone's face lights up because you're learning their language

Which good moments can you add? I'd love to hear your stories in the comments below. And of course, stay encouraged and keep going. You can totally do this.

For more information about coaching and access to lots of free toolkits and worksheets, hop onto the Fluent Language Newsletter today - can't wait to say hello to you on there!

Podcast Episode 27: Inside the #add1challenge with Brian Kwong

This episode is brought to you with support from Other Cats to Whip. Get 10% off with the code FLUENT.

In this episode, Lindsay went out and discovered the world of Brian Kwong, creator of the#add1challenge. Brian has studied 5 languages and created one of the most successful trends in the polyglot world.

add1challenge podcast

Listen to hear more about how it all works inside the challenge:

  • How the Study Groups and Mastermind Groups work
  • Which schools approach turns out to be a rocking technique
  • How the challenge changed for Brian as he took it again
  • How Lindsay once saves a Chinese tourist’s world!

Brian also gives us a hint as to what the future holds for the Add1Challenge!

Word of the Week:

An English word that Lindsay was struggling with ;)


Pronounced taʊt

A person who sells or endorses tickets, accommodation or taxis, often in the street or public places.

Links from the Show:

Tips of the Week

As always, our guest was hugely impressed with our selection of tips. Brian chose tip 3 as his favourite, because it’s the one way you’re guaranteed to build sentences.

  1. Slow down YouTube videos: Click the cog in bottom right hand corner of video, click speed, and slow down or speed up.
  2. Use Snapchat: Record multilingual clips throughout the day and they’re only there for 24 hours, no comments, no pressure on mistakes!
  3. Find a study buddy to text: Use HelloTalk, Tandem, MeetUp, Facebook groups etc to find a study buddy and start a WhatsApp or iMessage thread where you vouch to only use the language you’re both studying.

Do whatever it takes in this hour so you’ll want to learn another hour tomorrow. (Anthony Lauder)

Should you accept a Language Challenge? Here are 7 Things to Know before you Decide

Challenge is a big word in today's world, and challenges have started being all around us. There are the language challenges like the italki Language Challenge and the Add 1 Challenge. Then your local gym might challenge you to swim a few miles or do 500 squats. And of course we were all challenging ourselves to drown in ice buckets last year.

What is that makes a challenge rewarding and great? How do you know you're ready? Here are a few thoughts and insides to show you what makes a good challenge work.

Why do we like challenges?

language challenges

1. Pride

Accepting a challenge means proving something - not just to yourself but also to the world. No one would put themselves through something difficult if they don't believe that the result will be positive. So when you're in a challenge, you choose to commit to improving yourself and your skills in public. You can stand proud knowing that you have represented no matter how far you get.

2. Community

Group challenges are a wonderful opportunity to overcome your fears and push yourself to try out new things. I remember last year's abseiling adventure and how terrified it made me feel. If there had not been so many other people to encourage me and show me that this is possible, I would have never done it.

Here is how Brian, founder of the Add 1 Challenge, talks about his experience attempting to learn a new language in just 3 months and following a fellow student on the Fluent in 3 Months forum:

Even though he was half way around the world, I get inspired and energized every time just because I know someone was going through the same thing as I am, sharing the same struggles and having our small wins.

So if you are feeling isolated as an online learner, don't despair and seek out a community of people who share your goal.

3. Excitement

As part of my participation in the Small Product Lab (see below) I’m feeling like I’m on an invigorating sprint, and I can already see the end in sight. So here is one reason we love a challenge: Excitement!

It can be very motivating to put a specific goal and a time limit on our activities. You can feel buoyed by the community, inspired by everyone else's ideas and optimistic about the finish line.

How do you know you're ready for a challenge?

Of course, there is no such thing as a free lunch out there and so even the most valuable challenge comes with its own risks. Before you dive in, it's important to be sure that you're ready right now.

Will you have time and energy?

Since many language learners and aspiring polyglots are such high achievers, there's a risk in any good challenge. It can feel disappointing when you overcommit and set your expectations too high. So before challenging yourself to achieve something unrealistic, check how you are feeling.

Katey Nixon is taking the Add 1 Challenge right now and warns that "all or nothing" thinking can sabotage your great efforts.

So far three days this week I have skipped practice and I think it is all or nothing thinking, because I think - well I don’t have a full hour to practice - so I don’t even start and let other things get in the way.


Awareness is always the first step to solving a problem, so remember to accept a challenge only if it feels like you will have fun and not added stress.

You must feel that the goal works for you

The biggest risk in accepting any challenge is doing it for the wrong reason. If you are participating in a difficult endeavour just to prove your own skills or strengths, you're in murky territory. First of all, ask yourself who you want to prove yourself to. If your activity is based on the desire to impress someone else, forget it.

A good personal success does not come from other people's approval. Your challenge should be about what's meaningful to you, and what gets you fired up.

And what if you fail?

The other elephant in the room is fear of failure, and this is something that haunts every language learner out there. For example, the Add 1 Challenge proposes that you "hold a 15 minute conversation with a native speaker after 90 days". Personally, I think this is a super vague goal. You could speak to them in your language and have it be a success. You could speak to them for 10 minutes and have it be a failure.

I don't know exactly who said the following thing, maybe it was Yoda or maybe it was George Clooney. But in language learning and in business, I believe these words are powerful:

There is no such thing as failure. There is just trying.

Be flexible and forgive yourself for missing a day every now and then. A well-organised challenge will also take this into account. For example, Lindsay Dow's structure for the Instagram Language Challenge allows some extra days for catching up. If you're ready to try something, you're ready for a challenge.

Before you start, ask yourself these three questions

  1. Are you ready to commit the time and resources required?
  2. Is the goal your goal?
  3. Are you excited?

If you get three "yes" answers, I think it's time to sign up! If one of the answers is a no, leave it for another day. Those good ideas and challenges won't go anywhere.

Here is my own challenge story

And here is a secret revealed: I finally signed up to one.

The thing I’m challenging right now is not my language learning skill but my creativity. Small Product Lab challenges creative people to build a small and helpful product in just 10 days. And because I've not got much time, here is my promotion for you:

I am putting together an Email Set to save any online or private teacher time when they book new and existing students. It will include helpful email templates and also a guide to email signatures. And right now it's not launched yet, so you can get it at half price for a few days only. Click here for more information and to watch my product grow.

This is not Fantascienza: A Real World Language Learning Sprint

I hope you have been looking forward to Tanja's most recent update of her progress in the italki Language Learning Challenge as much as I have. Tanja signed herself up to taking 20 Italian lessons in just 8 weeks. Has she done it? Is this possible for normal people? Find out everything right here in this awesome guest post.

Where is my Mind?

Only a few days to go until the iTalki Language Challenge ends – I have 18 lessons under my belt and the two that are left have been scheduled, so it’s looking hopeful. I’ve just finished a run of four Italian lessons in five days. In my last blog post, I mentioned that three to four hours a week didn’t seem all that bad to me. What I had forgotten is that when studying on intensive courses, you tend to not do much else. When I was doing my TEFL-training in Spain, the practice part involved teaching in the afternoon and in the evening, plus revision in the morning and preparation every single spare minute in between and on the weekends. With job and life and Italian, the past few weeks have felt like that.

A Hard Day’s Night

I also stated before that without further study in between lessons, people will not progress, or at least they won’t progress fast.

I have become more diligent with reminding my students of that: it’s not possible to upload knowledge into your brain, you will have to revise, you will have to read, you will have to focus. Don’t get me wrong. Every little helps. If you don’t really have time and determination to study right now, a “word of the day”-screensaver is a start. If you’ve previously learned a language and just want to maintain your level, a weekly discussion group might be enough. If you have to send business emails that are fairly standard, you may be able to get them mostly right with templates and a good dictionary. If you only want to read, working up the courage to speak to strangers spontaneously and trying to activate your passive vocabulary could be unnecessary (but I’d still recommend it). But, and this is a big but, if you really want to improve fast, or if you are just starting a language and know nothing, you will not be able to get anywhere without putting in some work.

Which brings me back to my hard day’s night. Eighteen hours into the challenge, I am shattered. Still getting over my cold, loads of other stuff going on – the late lessons have been quite strenuous. The good thing about lessons after 9pm is that I’m usually home, but having to be ready and chatty in front of the computer at the end of the day is surprisingly demanding.

Senses working overtime

So how much time have I actually spent studying Italian?

I vowed a few weeks ago to do at least half an hour of active listening per day, which I accomplished mainly by watching television. Having finished my Montalbano-miniseries (English subtitles), I bought a television show on DVD that was meant to have Italian subtitles, but didn’t - I am a little impressed with myself for sticking with it. I do believe that watching “original” television is great for experiencing the correct rhythm and speed of your new language. I have been assiduous and covered a lot of grammar - in theory. I did exercises, I familiarized myself with structures, but I haven’t really applied them much yet. In fact, my last few lessons have been mainly conversation, which has been challenging - but I think I want to go back to fifty percent studying new words and new structures. I also have to read more - I am a visual learner, so my eyes need exposure to correct syntax.

My favourite things

What I have been enjoying most during my learning experience is having set both my phone and my laptop to “Italian”. It’s such a pleasant language!

“Connessione in corso”, “Appena aggiornato”, “Controllo posta”, “Caselle”, ”KK sta scivendo”, “tre minuti fa”, “inserisci il password qui”, “A cosa stai pensando?” “MM ha condiviso questo articolo” - the new language makes facebook updates and various logins much more interesting. The computer settings are good for memorising little words - “aiuto”, “finestra” - and for learning proper sentences like “La batteria non è in carica“ (which means “the battery is not charging”, but unfortunately doesn’t offer an explanation for that…). Most importantly, all of this is a constant reminder that you are currently learning a new language.

Everybody’s talkin’

Let me share with you my three favourite words of the challenge and how I’ve memorised them:

  1. cucciolo - puppy: Puppies are unforgettable per se, but the pic in the 3400 words app is particularly endearing. Even the word is cute!

  2. fantascienza - science fiction: This confused me for the first couple of days because I kept forgetting the word order and fiction and fantasy wouldn’t mingle in my head. But then I remembered a picture I’d once seen on the internets and the picture and the word instantly became associated in my brain. I doubt I’ll forget it again, ever. (I won’t post the drawing for copyright reasons, but google “fanta sea”).

  3. cascina - country house: When I see the word, not only do I have the Blur single ringing in my ears, I also think “Tuscany - countryside - peace and quiet” (see my previous post for more detailed day-dreaming). Note that my associations are not “spiders”, “no central heating”, “no public transport” - because the brain can’t process negatives, right?

The Tower of Learning

I had a lesson with a community tutor this week who made me talk about very specific topics. He spoke quite fast so the lesson was tough for me. However, he did comment afterwards that some conversation had been on a C2 level (which I highly doubt) and that whatever I was doing, I should keep doing. Mille grazie!

In my next post, I will talk a bit more about the future, but I am already wondering what to do come March. I can’t afford to keep up with this amount of lessons, though I have grown quite attached to my teachers. I have arranged for a small test to be done after lesson number 20 to somehow assess my progress, though of course I know that’s not going to be a definite result. The trick is to keep going.

I also kind of want to learn another language now, because I am feeling super inspired - and wouldn’t it be fun to be able to read in Arabic?

My New Year Language Challenge: Totalmente Italiano

Now that the new year has begun, I bet you're feeling fired up to take more language lessons, spend more time studying and set all kinds of new goals. And as a language tutor, you know where I stand on the issue: You should at try working with a 1-to-1 tutor. Good language teachers are the ultimate key to unlocking language learning.

While italki is certainly not the only place for you to find a good tutor, they are definitely one of the most encouraging. For 2015, italki is relaunching the Language Challenge. Sadly I'm too busy to get involved this time, but I've found a fearless roving reporter in my friend Tanja. Tanja is taking the Challenge and reporting on her Italian learning progress here on Fluent, and hopefully you'll feel encouraged and get involved in the Challenge too. You can read more below and sign up until Jan 31st.


Something New - Learning to be Fluent

My name is Tanja, and I have loved languages ever since my very first English lesson, aged 10, but sadly never turned into a “polyglot”. At school, I also took French and Latin while trying, at the same time, to teach myself Spanish at home, with tapes and a book (yes, tapes). At uni, I finally did an intensive Spanish course, followed up by a fairly advanced course in Girona. Ever since, I have been trying to boost my French and Spanish skills, to no great avail. My main achievement is that I own a lot of books in the languages. Some of the French ones I have even read. I also started courses in Swedish, Dutch and Ancient Greek, but never got past greetings.


Fluency, for me, has a lot to do with speaking. I have come to realise that I am simply not fluent in more languages because I am too worried to make mistakes. Of course that’s wrong - after all, I moved to England aged 18 and therefore personally experienced that immersion works. I am a certified TEFL-teacher, I have been teaching classes for decades, not a single lesson passes in which I don’t tell my students that it’s okay to make mistakes. One of my students was “healed” from not speaking when I told her to pay attention to how many times a day, she can’t think of a word in German, doesn’t finish a sentence etc., in her mother tongue. I know the tricks of the trade, I understand how learning progresses, and I am aware that knowing a language isn’t just about being able to read books in it. My retirement vision of living in a house in France (with a big library) has long been marred by the realisation that I won’t be able to negotiate the contract and that my wine-fuelled discussions with my imaginary lovely neighbours will likely never happen if I don’t say more than “Bonjour, madame!”

So why Italian?

In the late summer of 2014, I decided to learn Italian from scratch. Though I still wanted to become fluent in French and possibly Spanish eventually, I made a choice. This time, I would go about it differently. I wouldn’t repeat and revise what I had already studied several times over the course of twenty years, but would start over. I wanted to apply all that I knew about language learning, and I wanted to give the communicative approach - basically, the belief that it is essential to speak and hence, communicate, from the very beginning - another try. Having had a very grammar-focused language education, this was bound to be hard for me, but it would be okay, especially because the other approaches clearly hadn’t worked.

I can’t say I have always wanted to learn Italian. In fact, I never wanted to learn Italian. I thought it was too similar to French and especially Spanish and it would confuse me more than help. I refused to holiday in Italy because it seemed more useful to go to places where “my” languages were spoken - but when in Spain or France, I very rarely used them. Nonetheless, I was fascinated by Italy: the history, the culture, the writers, recently even the politics were of great interest to me. After all, with the Front National being so successful in France, I might have to move my retirement home to Tuscany. Bonus: Italian food is glorious. So in August, I vowed to a friend that I’d learn Italian, and become fluent - fast.

What I Tried

Once the idea had hatched, I checked out the language very theoretically. I also booked a trip to Rome for New Year. By then, I wanted to be able to speak well enough. I tried to find a tandem partner via Couchsurfing and sort of did, but we never managed to meet up. It was a busy September, so I didn’t do much except practise on Duolingo. My plan was to fit a course into my full-time job schedule, and I had my eyes set on one that would be Fridays from 2-6pm, starting mid-October. This was meant to get me to B1-level in a semester. Shortly before the course was to commence, I bought the set course books. Then it was cancelled. This was the point at which I’d normally move on to another hobby - but not this time. I had made a promise to myself and further decided it would be good for my own teaching to feel like a newbie for a change. I searched online and found an offline teacher. The first time I sat in front of R., I was able to say absolutely nothing, Duolingo notwithstanding. I got homework though, and three days later, I had already improved. By the next week, I could write sentences in two tenses. I was hooked, but felt like I was doing most of the studying by myself. I then, having first registered in October, decided to actually use italki. In November I had my first trial sessions - both were very good, and in addition to being super-supportive, my second teacher somehow got me to talk.

How I Learn

So far, since late November, I have had one offline lesson a week (90 minutes) and one to two italki-sessions. I will be participating in the italki language challenge from January 15th, so that’ll mean three hours a week on average. In addition, I study some of the grammar we talk about in the classes on various websites (e.g., I also use my prematurely purchased course book, especially for the offline course. My teacher on italki prepares Anki cards for me after every lesson. I downloaded free Italian Kindle books (though I haven’t read them yet) as well as some learning guides. Since I already know a decent amount of French and Latin words, I have assembled lists of cognates - there are several online for English speakers. I hope these will be more helpful when my grammar has improved a little. Apart from human interaction, my favourite exercise so far is writing just a few sentences a day into my new Italian calendar. In the next few blog posts, I will reflect on how well I am getting on with the different tools.

So far, so good

I think it’s going well - I am determined to succeed in the challenge, if only because Kerstin so kindly gave me the opportunity to share this adventure with you out there. After only four weeks of learning, I am able to understand a lot of Italian - and I always got the pizza I wanted in Rome. A presto!

Quick italki Language Challenge Overview

  • For this Challenge, Tanja is committing to taking 20 hours of language lessons between Jan 15th and Feb 28th - that's just 6 weeks!

  • All lessons count, even free community ones, so you can try out as many tutors as you like. This is about building a habit.

  • Learn ANY language at all - maybe even get to level C2 this time!

  • There's also a reward, as italki is giving away 400 ITC to successful takers at the end.

Sign up to the italki Language Challenge or simply learn more here.

The 16 Words that Sum Up All Learning Dilemmas

As my 50 Calls Project continues and I get to talk to more amazing language learners and language teachers about all things to do with learning, I come across some of the best things people say. It really is a treat to be able to connect with so many people from all over the world. I have made some new friends in London, Macedonia, Egypt, the USA and Spain.

The following quote just had to be shared with you. It is the perfect summary of why we learn and why we find it frustrating, right?

As you learn, you notice that you have to learn more because you don't know anything.

As you learn, you notice that you have to learn more because you don't know anything.

Thank you very much to Cris Pacino for this wonderful quote.

It's important to remember that we can never be perfect, and even when you are bilingual you are still not perfect. You are not even perfect in your native language!

With this thought, I hope that you have a wonderful weekend filled with success.

10 of the best international work opportunities for everyone (Part 2)

Welcome to part 2 of my list of the 10 impressive and maybe even life-changing opportunities for working or living abroad. You can catch up with part 1.

Before we kick off the countdown, remember that the list featured here is only meant to be a start. I’ve tried to really find something for everyone, no matter if you’re a student or you’ve got 20 years in a career on your CV.

 © Kyle Pearce  on Flickr

 ©Kyle Pearce on Flickr

You will be forced to question all your assumptions and talk to people that you would not usually talk to. It’s different from a nice trip in a hotel, but also different from becoming  full-on expat.

I know this is a tough thing to consider – when I started working in my own first career I chose that job for its travel opportunities, but I never stayed away for more than 3 weeks and only ever saw hotels. Result? I became an airport expert, not a world expert. Have a look at these ideas (and the last 10), read what Sally has to say about school exchanges, size them all up and then decide that an international exchange DOES belong into your life. Hope it’s not harder than it sounds!

For those looking East: Taiwan’s Mandarin Language Enrichment Scholarship

Get on the phone to your local Taiwanese embassy, because this programme sounds great! Taiwan’s Ministry of Education is offering financial support for international students (over 18) wanting to take up Mandarin Chinese courses. The duration can be 3-12 months from what I understand on their website, so it’s definitely worth investigating. Beware though: It does say you have to be “of good moral character”.

For North Americans and Germans: CBYX

CBYX is an exchange scheme between the US Congress and the German Bundestag and enables students and professionals under 25 of either country to spend up to a year abroad. It’s pretty popular and prestigious, so you’d better make sure you get your application in excellent order. But with graduates as inspiring as Mickey Mangan, we just know that this belongs in this Fluent Language blog countdown!

Note that the German branch is not the only cultural exchange supported by the US Congress - on their website you'll also find ideas for exchanges with Korea, Japan, Argentina, Chile and lots of other countries.

For those with a mind for industry: NES Global Talent 

NES stood out to me because it focuses on an industry that has two great characteristics:

  1. The work is ever project based, meaning that you're practically expected to change at least part of your job after some time.
  2. It's global, growing, in need of linguists and yet completely aimed at people who aren't linguists at all. 

NES is actually a recruitment company, and it offers jobs for big, meaty construction projects like oil rigs and rail lines and pipelines. Their sample projects are all over the world. If you're an engineer with a thirst for adventure, this would be the place to look.

For the North (of Europe, mostly): Nordplus 

By Thor, now I want to be Danish. Nordplus is a programme for the Nordic countries that's mostly aimed at institutions who want to run projects. As an individual, there's something for you no matter if you're a student, adult learner or language person. I'd recommend you start with the projects that have approved funding and see if any of them take your fancy. The programmes are for people in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, the Faroe Islands, Greenland, Aaland and the Baltic countries Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.


For brave souls: Start an online business

Seriously? Online business is becoming a real lifestyle choice for people from all walks of life, and allowing them to quit their jobs, change their life and enjoy much more flexibility than ever before. The language learner's obvious place to look is Fluent in 3 Months, and I would also recommend the Suitcase Entrepreneur and My Wife Quit Her Job. No, this choice is not without its risks. It isn't as easy as many of the others, and the results of this one will be life-changing, but they might also be more rewarding than we could ever dream of. Worth a try!

That's it for my 10 snapshots of opportunities that will help you go abroad, but shift your life around only as much as you want to. What remains left to say is that you should really check out your own country's foreign office and country partnerships because I've seen some real gems during my research, for example Germany's kulturweit.

Are you taking the plunge? Are you currently abroad? Did you do it without anyone's help or funding? It'd be great to hear from more fellow travelling souls so please do leave a comment.

Credit: I had some fabulous research help from Lissa, an excellent seller on Fiverr. She really got involved and rose to the challenge, so if you ever want some research done for only $5, check her out. Thanks Lissa!

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