We encourage anyone ever traveling abroad to study the language used there before arriving – not necessarily because you’ll need it, but mostly because you’ll feel a little more comfortable if your ears and brain are more used to hearing that language than suddenly stepping off a plane and being completely disoriented.
I highly suggest DuoLingo – the free app-based language-training program that can take 5 minutes or 5 hours a day depending on your commitment level. It helps with those few hours you’ll spend alone at a train station looking for your tracks or at a café trying to order espresso and pain au chocolate. It helps you more thoroughly integrate into the culture you’re visiting. And it’s a real gift to the folks who will be helping to ensure you have a great trip.
We also include some small duty-specific language courses into our work. So if you’re working to help cultivate honey one day, we’ll prep you in the morning with a one-hour language training course specific to bees and honey cultivation. We feel that this better helps you integrate and feel like the work you’re doing is dually enriching!