Language Hacking
Language Hacking
Nov 29, 2021
#76 Ben Phillips on How to Live and Study Abroad for Free
Play • 50 min

19-year-old student, Ben Phillips, talks to Benny Lewis and Elizabeth Bruckner about his experience of doing a highschool German exchange programme, and how he stayed focussed and motivated enough to reach C1 level after just a year.

Ben explains how, after unsuccessfully dabbling in Japanese, Greek and Mandarin, he was able to excel at German in such a short period of time, how and why reading is so integral to his learning, and the ways he has been able to travel and live abroad more or less for free.

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Episode Overview

Some of the topics brought up during the interview are:

  • High school language exchanges and language camp with the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange
  • Attending a German school and the joy of finally being able to participate in a class discussion
  • Taking and passing the C1 test in German after only a year of learning
  • How to make the most of opportunities to learn a language while living abroad
  • The importance of keeping your goal in mind
  • How speaking with people and learning about a culture in your target language is its own reward
  • Overcoming the temptation to slip back into English while living abroad
  • How to set monthly goals and why they’re useful
  • How to find time to study and still do the things you enjoy in your free time
  • Tracking your accomplishments, like finishing a book in your target language
  • Reading as a key part of your language practice - novels, Twitter, and using LingQ
  • Finding motivation to study when you don’t have the pressure of being in the country
  • Scholarships and work exchanges as ways to travel and have enriching experiences abroad for free

Podcast theme: “A New Beginning” by Shannon Kennedy

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