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LanguBridge

About

LanguBridge's 3-7 week summer programs provide language programs for teens in China, Japan an South Korea. We host students from all over the world who are passionate about language learning. LanguBridge provides students with and in-depth experience of the sights, sounds and culture of their host country.

Headquarters

#200 – 4170 Still Creek Dr.
Burnaby BC V5C 6C6
Canada

Reviews

Default avatar
Cameron
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I went to Japan through Langubridge program for cultural immersion and I had a great time. My host family, which consisted of a 4 year old, a 8 year old, and an 11 year old, was awesome and they always helped me out, cared for me, and were very understanding when I made a mistake in Japanese. It was really fun to be in a host family with young kids because they always engaged with me right away! Additionally, they took me to so many places that helped my understanding of the language. Not only that, but they helped me meet people that I could keep in touch with and I still talk to some of the friends that I made. And I still talk to my host family a lot and we even send each other care packages. Additionally, the classes were really great and we had a lot of chances to make friends and to learn applicable and important Japanese conversational skills, such as interacting with Japanese people and asking questions. Also, I felt like the field trips from the school allowed us to not only learn about the language, but to learn about the culture. I learned a lot of valuable things on the field trips that I still use today. This program really helped me become more of an independent person because even when just eating lunch with your friends, you have to find out how to figure things out on your own in a foreign country and in a language that I was not fluent in. I had a lot of great memories from this program, some of my favorites being going to summer festivals and eating ramen with my host family. I also built a lot of really strong bonds with people, which I really value from this program. Even after the program, it helped me become very independent, more curious about things, and it made me want to travel a lot more and see how people in other countries live. Some tips that I would have for future participants are that it is very helpful to learn at least basic Japanese before going. Also, to build strong bonds with your host family by offering to help and things like that so that you know you can as them any question if you're confused. Also, it is really helpful to go into the program very open minded because you will be able to try a lot of new things and meet a lot of people, and you will be able to enjoy it more if you have an open mind.

Default avatar
Kaitlyn
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My time spent in Seoul during July of 2017 through the Langubridge program was excellent and life-changing. The primary reason that I enjoyed this program was due to how organized and dedicated the staff was to make the trip a positive learning experience. Months before we left our home country, my friends- who were also attending, were put in contact with a Langubridge representative via email. She was very attentive and understanding of any concerns we had, as she always responded with diligence to our countless questions. Prior to being accepted into the program, I was required to fill out application forms. These forms are not only made to assess the habits and personality of the student but are also to better match students with potential host families. The application process was something that caught my attention because it highlighted the effort that goes into making the student homestay program as seamless as possible. As a result of this my host family and I meshed very well together. Another cool thing about Langubridge is that they do their best to accommodate towards the needs of their students. Since this was my first time traveling abroad, I requested that I stay in a host home along with one of my friends that was going on the trip. Keep in mind that Langubridge does not guarantee that every request will be honored, however I was very grateful to have my request fulfilled. There was also a group Facebook page, and group Kakao Talk that was created by our trip leader, she used this to better keep everyone accounted for. Upon arrival in Seoul, my friends and I were easily able to make our way through customs and locate our host parents. My friend and I were made very comfortable with how kind our host family was. We each had our own room, and a super cute dog named Cream! In the following weeks, we attended language and culture classes at Hanyang University. Our group of 30 students was broken up into smaller classes based on skill level and we went from there. Overall, I will say that the classes were extremely helpful as was our professor. Our teacher was very patient and made sure to take the time to explain each lesson in detail so we got the most out of each class. Aside from classes at the university, we also had daily culture trips around the city. Whether it be to the National Folk Museum of Korea, to one of the world's largest theme parks Lotte World, we were given the experience of a lifetime. It was during these trips that our knowledge was extended beyond the walls of a classroom and into the vibrant social life of Korea. One of the most memorable outings we had was going to MBC and experiencing the technological side of Korean culture. I was even able to make friends with Korean students my age and am still in contact with one of them to this day. This coming July will mark one year since being in Seoul, the trip that changed my life as it opened my eyes to the world around me. Being an ocean away from my home, I learned to assimilate and adapt to new surroundings. I learned to be still and observe the beauty of diversity as people thrive in different cultures. I think that's one of the things that makes this program a stand out- that it's SO much more than just Korean classes. I'm forever grateful to Langubridge for giving me the opportunity to study in such a wonderful place, and gain memories that I will hold onto for a lifetime.

What would you improve about this program?
I felt as if this program is extremely refined and well organized as is. Nothing specific comes to mind when asked about improvement ideas!
Read my full story
Default avatar
Mariel
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Doing this program I was able to visit South Korea, a country which I had been admiring for about a year. It was in my opinion a very complete program, I had enough time to learn korean and visit different places in the Seoul city (by myself or with friends and also within the program’s schedule).

As for the places visited within the program’s schedule all of them were interested and there were both modern places (as MBC World, Lotte Amusement Park) and historical and cultural destines (like the gyeongbokgung palace, a theatre where we say a musical play, etc.).

As for the language teaching, the classes where really good and varied, there was a lot of vocabulary since it was an intensive language session, and the classes were fun.

The teacher’s and program staff are really nice and intensely welling to help. Doesn’t matter how many questions you ask, they would answer and helo you politely.

Tips: Since the program is done on summer, the temperature in Korea is pretty hot, so it’s better if you take comfortable and cool clothes.
It is a really safe country, so there’s no need to be afraid.
For transportation, busses and subways are the most used, so if there is any issue with these methods, it is preferred that you communicate that to the program so that they find a way to help.
Most food in Korea is spicy, so if you can’t eat spicy foods, make sure to say that to your host family in advance (for home cooked meals) and always ask to waiters in restaurants to bring you non-spicy foods.

What would you improve about this program?
Personally, I have no suggestions because in my opinion the program didn't have any faults.
Kalia
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

If you're looking for a little bit of language and culture experience for the first time, I definitely recommend Langubridge.

Since I went through the Tokyo E program, that is mostly what my review will be about. If you are wondering about how to begin applying, you have to sign up and pay 85 dollar for the sign up fee and then they will send you all the application materials. The application is quite simple, fill in your basic info, write a paragraph about yourself, add your preferences for your host family, get two recommendations, and email/mail it. After that, you will receive an email about an interview, and most likely it will be a video chat interview through google. You learn more about Langubridge there and you can have a parent(s) present to ask questions if needed.

If it is your first time abroad and you do not know a lot of Japanese, then I really recommend going through the Tokyo E program. They provided a lot of support and very organized activity, you will not feel lost or anything because they are there to help and the home stay families are very well prepared.
They send us pre-departure guides before we arrive to Japan and those are VERY helpful: it includes possible gifts you could give, what happens when you are at the airport, what to expect when you get there, basic phrases, etc.

The Tokyo A, B, and C programs, I would say, are for older, advanced students who know more Japanese, have probably studied abroad before, and want more free time. From what I see, I think the Tokyo E program is like a High School schedule where you have set classes and a set routine. You wake up, eat breakfast, take the train to school, attend classes, eat lunch, attend class, and then take the train back home to spend the rest of your time with your home stay family. The only time to your self is probably at night. You occasionally get homework, but it is not meant to be burdensome like school, so homework is pretty easy. If you are dorming, I think you probably would not have to worry about an early curfew like you have to do with a host family and would not have to return straight home.

Once you receive your host family information, do not be afraid to contact them about living arrangements or if you want to do anything in advance so they can plan for it. Ask them what they have planned for you so you can help them plan things you want to do. I regret not contacting them, therefore I often just stayed home with my home stay family and did not get to experience as much as I wanted/could have; of course we went out on weekends though. Bring lots of spending money, you will be tempted to try lots of food and buy lots of things. I think $300-$500 would be just about you need, as long as you are not a huge spender.

The classes were held in the LABO building, located in Shinjuku. You are divided up into two groups, beginner and more advanced Japanese class. One sad thing is that once divided, you will not be able to interact much with the other class because you have different activities. The classes are quite enjoyable and helpful. The beginner class I took was quite helpful with teaching us basic phrases, sentences, words, hiragana, and katakana.

There are these things called LABO parties and they are super fun. My host family only took me to one, but it was super fun. Depending on your LABO group, you could meet other Japanese students your age or younger or older. Unfortunately for me, I did not go to a LABO party where there were other teens my age, but it was still super fun. The age group ranges a lot and each LABO party-group has different amount of people. There could be 10 in one group and 30 in another. You will learn more about what LABO is on the second day of coming to Japan.

The home stay families are all very nice and well prepared. You may end up with a family that speaks a lot of english, or one that speaks very little. Either way, the houses are very nice and comfortable and the families are welcoming. It helps to know/speak Japanese so you can bond with your family more, but since I could not speak much Japanese, I could not talk to my host family as much as I wished I could have. If you have any more questions, please feel free to email me any time. Oh, remember to take lots of photos! & vlog if you can, even if you feel weird, you will regret not capturing the moment later, so do it!

What would you improve about this program?
I have no suggestions since the program is already pretty good.

Programs

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Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Kaitlyn Lebsack

Kaitlyn or Katie is a 2018 high school graduate from Austin, Texas. She participated in the Langubridge Korea Summer trip in 2017.

Group of students taking a groufie.

Why did you choose this program?

I was looking to expand my knowledge of countries abroad through something other than classes. I really liked how Langubridge is very heavy on culture trips and encouraged its students to integrate themselves within the community. We took tons of classes, but we also got to experience the Korean culture upfront through our many trips.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

The program providers were extremely helpful while we were in and out of school. They attended all of our culture trips as well; they were there if anyone had questions about something or needed guidance. Even when we were not at school, we were still connected with our providers via Kakao Talk. They were no more than a text message away at all times. It was very helpful that they made sure that everyone knew their way home each day, and if not, they were happy to escort you back.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

For new trip members, I would suggest familiarizing yourself with the area before getting there. In big cities like Seoul, it’s fairly easy to navigate due to it being an international hub. But just because a good majority of the signs are in English doesn’t mean you won't get lost.

I was super lucky to be traveling with a friend who downloaded an app of the subway system in Seoul. We got to know what it looked like, what stops we would be using, and how the whole system worked. This was SO helpful!

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

The average week is pretty “routine” as far as classes go. In the mornings, we would wake up at around 7AM, get ready, and head to the subway station. Once we got to school, we would have class and then a lunch break followed by our afternoon outing.

The outings were to places around Seoul and included things like museums, palaces, and markets. On the weekends, we would go as a group to an all-day trip/event, and on Sundays, we would have free time to spend with our host families.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

My biggest fear was the border stress that is in the news between North and South Korea all the time. As an American, this is a foreign issue that is frequently placed in the public eye and is seen as a pressing matter. I was pretty nervous about going to a place where I was told such tension existed.

I found comfort in knowing that Koreans live with that pressure every day; they are strong because they don't allow it to hinder them.

Instead, they press on, and live their lives to the fullest – and that inspired me to do the same.

What is your favorite thing about Korea?

One of my most favorite things about Korea was visiting the Jjimjilbang or bathhouse. This bathhouse was where we had the last outing we took as a class. It's probably one of the most memorable, too. I loved it because firstly – it’s a spa, and who doesn't like having a day to relax? Aside from that, it was stepping out of my comfort zone that made this trip memorable.

During this spa trip, I took the time to hang out with some group members that I normally never spoke to, and it was during this time that I grew very close to them. I'm extremely grateful for this particular outing because it allowed me to learn other people’s stories, and gave me time to listen.