However, there are reasons why learning a new language within your own country can actually be a better option. In terms of grammar, for example, staying at home and simply teaching yourself from a grammar book is potentially the best way to do it. Picking up bad grammatical habits from locals is one of the bigger risks of practicing a new language abroad. From personal experience, I have also noticed that when practicing speaking the language abroad, local native speakers are often hesitant to correct mistakes that you make for fear of seeming impolite. Although this may help a conversation flow more smoothly without either person feeling uncomfortable, it can cause these mistakes to be reinforced and therefore they are likely to be repeated in the future. With this in mind, it is important to realize that those aspiring to study a new language should not be put off the idea if going abroad to learn it is simply not possible, as it is not necessarily always the best option.
If you are attempting to learn a language without travelling, one important thing to remember is that every day immersion in the language is absolutely essential, even just for a couple of hours, whether that is watching a film in the language, listening to the radio, reading a book etc. which can all be done in the comfort of your own home, and thanks to the internet access to these resources is easy. In most cases, TV and radio presenters will speak in a neutral accent, making understanding easier and therefore making the whole tasks more useful. For many, the main struggle comes when trying to find a way to practice actually speaking the language. After reading online, a couple of ideas that stood out to me were suggestions to speak to your pet, or to yourself. Although I am unsure of how beneficial this may be, it does seem quite a popular option!
What may surprise many new language learners is the number of native speakers within their own city. In my own experience, having not yet been able to travel to Italy, finding an Italian tandem partner has been the most useful thing I have done. Luckily, I was introduced to my partner through a university programme, but I am aware that there are a number of websites online, available to anyone, that can put you in contact with people in your own city that are looking to practice English, and will help you practice their native language in return. The way it usually works is to meet once or twice a week for an hour or so, and spend half the time speaking English, and half the time speaking the other language. The great thing about this is that your mistakes will be picked up on and corrected, as your partner will be aware of their role in helping you improve. Alternatively, if you have a friend that is learning the same language as you, spoken practice with them is helpful as they will speak at a slower pace making it easier for you to understand.
In conclusion, there are as many benefits of going abroad to learn as there are to staying at home. My personal advice, advice that I have followed myself throughout the process of learning Spanish, would be to gain a grammatically correct knowledge of the language, learn vocabulary that is not only specific to a certain region, and generally build up your language skills at a pace you are comfortable with, and when you do feel confident enough, take any opportunity to go to the country and polish up your new skills. If this seems like too much of a long process, which it may be for those who are keen to travel, opting to learn from scratch in a foreign country will definitely give you the benefit of the process being quicker, however just be aware of the risk of picking up grammatical imperfections and a few other bad habits!