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Foreign Languages We hear from someone that was keen to not only learn a new langauge but incorporate it into their trip away.

Will this inspire you to take up an evening course, learn a new language in the car or travel and learn the language in a language school abroad?.



Learning a language has always proved an asset when traveling on holiday. The odd phrase whilst ordering food and drink is a must if you want to make life easier, especially if there’s a queue at the bar! The days when school children were expected to learn French seems a long way off and now if a parent is keen for their child to learn Mandarin, no one bats an eyelid. But if learning a foreign language at school was something that simply past you by, a foreign language course abroad whilst on holiday in China may be the next best thing.


Traveling to China to learn Chinese was something I had always planned to do and having taken early retirement from my job in hospitality I decided to take the bull by the horns. Learning Mandarin was my dream and as I’d been to China many times through my work I decided to re visit ShangHai. Pudong Airport was a short distance from my apartment and not far from the school I’d selected to enrol in. The apartment was pretty basic and often full of students who were also taking language courses; it definitely helped that I could remember the limited phrases when meeting them on the stairwell or outside the onsite laundromat.


The language school is situated in the French Concession of ShangHai and is a short taxi ride from the apartment; I could also use the train but chose not to, my regular driver was keen to help me with my pronunciation and I in turn helped him with his English.


Then there was the ‘world’s newest cruise ship’ to explore.  The Norwegian Escape will carry 4,248 passengers, making her one of the world’s five biggest ships with her maiden voyage in November.  On board activities feature a 76 meter long loop the loop water for the fans of walking the plank there are two extending from the ship that allow for great photo opportunities and for the more agile amongst the guests there’s the chance to hang from zip wires Sky Rails and a three storey rope course to navigate.


After 2 months I was so pleased with my progress, I can take part in conversations, I decided to stay on for an extra month and spend time traveling. Shanghai has some of the best restaurants and the people are very friendly, although the humid weather during the summer months was a little too much for me and I ended up spending the evenings in some swanky hotels such as the New World Shanghai next to the Zhong Shan Park Metro, the Buffet breakfast is worth a trip alone. But the best hotel in China I had the good fortune to spend time in was the Mandarin Oriental in Pudong, the beauty of the reception area alone was enough to take my breath away. My trip to China was well worth it and my medical condition was neither a worry nor a hindrance. Travel insurance for high blood pressure was easy to buy and put my mind at rest.


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