Daniel Stevenson is co-founder of Versify and a French and Management student who recently finished his final year at King’s. You can contact Daniel on firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find out more about Versify below, at Versify.CO, by going to the Facebook page or following on Twitter.
Practise your language skills before and after your year abroad with Versify, the online language exchange
Language plays a huge role in most students’ study abroad experience and, out of the four years spent doing a language degree at King’s, you will gain more practical language experience during your year abroad than any other year.
I recently finished my final year in French and Management at King’s and during my year abroad I was lucky to spend nine months on the beautiful French island of La Réunion teaching English for the British Council. During my time there I became more and more at ease while speaking French and towards the end of my placement I even became conversant in the local Créole tongue! However, after spending the summer working back in the UK I entered the crucial final year in September and the hugely important year abroad exams feeling a little rusty. I had managed to rapidly build my proficiency during the year abroad, but as any language learner will know, it doesn’t take long to go off the boil.
This feeling - that practical language skills can slip away at an alarming rate - is common amongst language learners. We spend time in classrooms perfecting grammar and vocabulary. We take years abroad to improve our ability to converse with locals and function in the target language on a daily basis. But over the course of a few months during academic holidays or after graduation, the potency of our proficiency can wear off. But it doesn’t need to be this way.
I am the co-founder of Versify, the online language exchange. Versify has been developed with language students in mind with support from the King’s Study Abroad Office and the Modern Language Centre. With Versify you can practise your language skills with native speakers through one-on-one video chats.
Versify is completely free and you can practise for as long as you like. When you register you will be given 30 minutes of credit to get you started. You spend these credits while learning a language and earn more credits for each minute you help another member to speak your native language.
Language exchanges are perfect for students who already have quite an advanced grasp of the language, as it means the conversation can flow naturally while at the same time new words and phrases are picked up from the native speaker. As well as improving speaking skills, these conversations allow the learner to experience a broader range of accents and increase listening comprehension.
Versify is a growing community of language students from around the world. To learn more about how you can get involved go to Versify.CO
Abi Yates reflects on Orientation 2015.
Orientation week is always an exciting time and this year was no exception! There have been so many new people to meet with such enthusiasm and excitement; it has been delightful to meet you all! We have such a diverse community and it was great hearing all the different languages and people of different cultures, coming together and making new international friends. We hope you have been settling into London, your new home, getting your bearings and discovering all the experiences this brilliant city has to offer. My favourite event was the scavenger hunt: I have to commend all the teams who stuck it out in the pouring rain, running around London landmarks, the dedication and determination was astounding! It definitely created some crazy stories of wading through puddles and climbing fences to avoid the flooding. The pub finish was well deserved by all! I hope everyone had a fantastic first week and we look forward to seeing you throughout the semester!
The Peer Advisors are already looking forward to January Orientation 2016!
Stay tuned to our website for more information on the events.
Study Abroad is very much looking forward to hosting the annual Study Abroad Fair as part of Go Global!
When: Monday 16 November 2015
Interested in Studying Abroad either for semester, year or summer? Come to the Study Abroad Fair and learn more about what opportunities are available.
We will have representatives from partner universities, relevant departments at King's as well as external organisations. It is an event not to be missed!
See you there! Find out more about Go Global 2015 here.
Study Abroad has relaunched our Instagram account!
Are you a study abroad student currently abroad?
Studying at King's or coming to King's soon to study?
Keep up to date on the latest in study abroad by following us on Instagram@kclstudyabroad
Stay tuned as we will be launching a social media photo competition soon as part of Go Global 2015!