January, 2020: How much English do you need to study at NCC (Koga S.)

A Possible Worst-case Scenario of Studying Abroad

              Hello, guys. Today’s topic is “How much English you need to have before studying abroad”.  You can’t avoid getting ahead of yourself and stumbling your way through studying abroad unless your English is up to the required standard already. That being said, please do not drink Kool-Aid as this is just my two cents. It’s a no-brainer that you guys have the final say in the first place. I recommend you to take my opinion with a grain of salt that you can get to the heart of the matter and cut it in many different ways by yourself, which is the cornerstone when you make a decision.

Before getting straight to the point, let me talk about the reason why I wanted to touch on, specifically, this kind of topic. As an FYI, there are about 20 Japanese students who have several totally different levels of English proficiency here in NCC. I often have dinner with them, including international students and Americans as well. During our conversation, many of them are having a hard time since obviously, they do not have enough confidence to speak English and listen to what they are talking about. Additionally, that makes them shattered.

From that viewpoint, long story short, I strongly believe that you’d better reach a certain level, with enough confidence, where you can communicate with people in English before making a choice on studying abroad. Otherwise, there is a possibility that you would hit a roadblock during it. I’m pretty sure you can’t stand people who don’t understand what you’re saying because of the inaccuracy of grammar or pronunciation.

I reckon some people would say you should definitely study abroad even if you don’t get used to speaking English. At the end of the day, you’ll be able to broaden your horizons and take your English to the next level through studying abroad. However, the reality is that people who mess up and drop it are dime a dozen. I’m not saying you shouldn’t study abroad. What I mean is, you definitely need to dig deep and be comfortable with English itself, before leaving Japan if you want to kick-start your long journey. You shouldn’t excessively bank on “the fact you’ll study abroad” to become good at English.

As I said before, I used to take advantage of online conversation lessons in Japan to have an opportunity to actually speak English. At first, it took me a lot of courage to literally open up my mouth and output the knowledge I have. That being said, it was really worth a shot. It’s a stretch to say that you’ll be able to start speaking English without utilizing that kind of service, so you might as well.

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