Going to an international Hostel is a good way to practise your English with international travelers especially the ones that are advertised on Hostelworld.com or Hostels.com. There are several in every large city. The hostel is very much like a guesthouse but the ones that advertise on international sites will have a higher chance of having English speaking visitors. This is a great way to meet and interact with English speaking foreigners for several hours at a time.
What do I do first?
Check our directory for international hostels and review the hostels in your area. Please note this is also a great way to maximize your English exposure while travelling abroad! Book a weekend at a local hostel. Take a friend with you who is as eager as you to improve your English. Book a communal room, where you will share the sleeping area with other people. The cost can range from 10 000 per night to 50 000, depending on the city, time of year and occasion. Make sure the Hostel has a kitchen that you can use. This is important as you will eat in the Hostel kitchen. Purchase some food and place it in the Hostel fridge-mark your name on the food. Spend time in the common area of the Hostel. You want to present yourself as a friendly person. If the moment is right- introduce yourself to a foreigner and invite him or her to eat with you in the communal kitchen. Many foreigners may take you up for your offer because most of them have limited funds and are trying to get by on as little money as possible. I did quite a bit of backpacking throughout Europe and found the majority of travelers I came across where all able to speak English. This strategy is a little expensive but it can possibly give you a whole weekend of English practice depending on who you meet at the hostel.
What if there are no foreigners in the hostel?
Do a little research. Read over the hostel reviews. Contact the hostel and ask how many foreigners usually stay per night. Go to the hostel and check the facilities and space before spending any money.
I’m a little worried to talk to people I don’t know. Does this really work?
I totally understand. I am an introvert myself, but we found our best experiences in Europe when we were forced interact with other foreigners at hostels. We met a couple from Austria at our hostel in Portugal and they invited us to stay at their apartment in Vienna Austria. It was incredible because they hardly knew us but gave us their own bed in their small one bedroom apartment. We are still in contact tell today.
Is this safe?
Like everything else in life, there are risks. Most of the people I’ve ran into were very pleasant to be around. Many university students from the US will spend several months backpacking as a way of learning about other cultures and as way to reflect on their own lives. As in every situation, please use your best judgment and avoid situations that are strange to you. Also make sure you inform someone that where you will be staying prior to going to the hostel. If you’re concerned with security, you can also check the hostel review section. Most reviews rate the safety & security of each Hostel. The most common issue in hostels are theft. So make sure you do not leave any expensive items lying around.
If you are interested in practicing your English with several different foreigners as well as making new friends then you may want to consider staying at Hostel. Most of the foreigners who are staying at hostels want to meet locals. So this is a win win for them and you because you can practice your speaking and they can learn more about Korea!