Going to university in a different country can offer a lot of benefits. It can make you look more employable due to your more diverse life experience and can also be a great way to learn about life in another place while you are gaining your education.
For a lot of people, the idea of studying in a country like Portugal, Italy, or Spain is very appealing. But can you do this even if you do not speak the language?
International Student Courses
Many of the major universities in mainland Europe offer courses in English. This is because they like to attract international students, not just from the UK but also from the United States, India, China, and various other parts of the world where there are promising people. Because English is the most widely spoken language in the world, they are able to offer degree courses in English to be able to appeal to people from other countries who do not speak their own language. Naturally, this is in response to demand, so many of the most popular courses are offered in English at foreign universities. If you are looking to study something fairly popular such as maths, engineering, science, or business, you should be able to find plenty of options for international student courses in the country of your choice.
Getting by in Your New Country
Of course, university is not the only thing you will be doing when you are living in your new country. You will need to be able to do things like go out and socialise, organise yourself for food, and sort out your accommodation. This may seem daunting without the language skills, but there are companies like Collegiate who provide accommodation throughout Europe in places like Porto. Collegiate also have some useful information on student life in the city on their website, so you could use them to help you find somewhere to live as well as how to navigate the city.
You should also find that socialising will not be difficult either, because if you are on an international student course then all your classmates will also speak English.
Learn the Basics, Then Learn by Immersion
Just because it is possible and completely viable to go and study in a country where you do not speak the language, it does not mean that it isn’t a good idea to prepare yourself by studying some of the basics before you go. Once you are there, you can use this foundation as a way to have conversations with people in your new country in their native language, and you should find that you start to learn by immersion. This is great because it means that when you come away from your degree, you not only have the qualification that you went there to get, but you should also be fully proficient in a foreign language. This can be a very big boon to your CV. There is a useful list of the best Spanish immersion programs on Spanish Studies Abroad website.
If you have the desire to study in a particular country and can find a course that will be presented in English, then you should not have any problems even if you do not have a grasp of the language yet. It can be a great new experience and a wonderful way to get your degree.