By Kayla Beard, Marketing Intern at Heinz Marketing

I studied abroad in Europe during the winter quarter of my junior year. My home bases were in Paris and Madrid, but I traveled all over the world. About six months before going, I started to get really stressed at the idea of being alone in a foreign country. I was very afraid the language barrier would make it extremely difficult to enjoy exploring the different countries. After mentioning how I felt to my friends, they suggested I download the app Duolingo.

Duolingo is a free language learning application. With over 35 languages, Duolingo allows anyone to learn a language with just the download of an app. 

To get started with Duolingo, you first pick the language you want to learn. In my case, I wanted to refresh my four years of Spanish and start learning French. I was so shocked at how easy and personalized this app was. Before getting started, you chose why you are learning this language; whether it’s for school, culture, family and friends, job opportunities, travel, brain training, and more. 

After choosing the main purpose for your studies, Duolingo then offers you different amounts of learning times for how intense you want to study. Because I was going abroad within the year, I chose the “serious” option which was studying 15 min a day. I thought that was the perfect amount of time because I could do it on my way to class or even while I watch TV at night. 

Now, this is where the fun part starts! After selecting all of your personal preferences, the learning begins! At the end of your course you will be able to listen, speak, read, and write in whatever language you choose. With over 10,300 words and 23,300 sentences being taught, it is almost guaranteed you will get exactly where you need to be! 

Lastly, there are little goals at the bottom to help focus your studies and ensure you’re on track. Because I chose the reason of travel for my course, my skill sets were based on that. My first skill and goal I should have by the end of the course is the ability to order food and ask for directions like a local. Secondly, I should be able to supplement my classes to stand out in school. Lastly, this course will allow me to qualify for jobs that accelerate my career.

If any of these skills and goals sound appealing to you, download the app