Some students study abroad in a country that speaks a corresponding language to their language studies major or minor, but others may decide to go to a country that mainly speaks a foreign language they have never spoken. If you are looking to continue your language skills outside of class or learn a brand new language, it can be a difficult first step. There are many language apps, websites, and other learning platforms geared towards helping you master a new language, but they can get pretty expensive.
One app and website that we like to use around the office to keep up on our foreign language skills is Duolingo. Duolingo has a great app as well as a website to keep you occupied. It provides FREE lessons of Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, Irish, and more! It really feels more like a game than a learning assessment. You can set a daily goal for yourself and compete against your friends no matter what language they are learning. And it also has a rank of how fluent you are! Especially if you are going to study abroad in a place like Italy or Germany (and you don’t know any Italian/German) this app can really help you before you get there!
I would even recommend this app to current language learners! You will feel very nervous before going to your host country where you will be expected to speak a foreign language on a daily basis. Even though you have taken many courses over this language, there will be many challenging moments when communicating. By using Duolingo you can brush up on the basics, quickly test out of those easy vocabulary lessons, and move onto the more advanced levels.
If you are going to be on your way to a foreign country soon, you might want a more tangible reference to use while you are there. A pocket dictionary can be very helpful and will come in handy on numerous occasions. It will just come at a price.
You can also give this link and this one a look to see other free online language-learning platforms. There are many options out there so maybe try a few! It is strongly suggested that you learn the very basics of the foreign language spoken in your host country before you arrive, so have fun studying!