How to learn a language while housesitting


Your housesit is booked, and your bags are packed, but there’s something else you’ve got to think about if you want to really get the most out of your housesit: speaking the local language! 

While you may not have time to learn more than a few key phrases before hitting the road, the wonderful power that is the internet makes it possible to learn a language while housesitting – with Skype language lessons from Live Lingua!

Live Lingua offers Skype language lessons in the 11 most commonly spoken languages in the world. As you work through your housesitting duties, whether it’s taking care of pets or cleaning a pool, these Skype language lessons let you converse with a native speaker of the language that works one-on-one with you to reach your goals – hopefully to reach fluency!

Live Lingua’s website is also full of great resources to help you optimize your study time and be comfortable in your new setting.

But first, let’s see why we think learning English for travel to the US is so important!

Should You Learn a language before or while housesitting? 

One of the first things most travelers search before going to a foreign country for the first time is Do I have to learn [language spoken in destination] before I get there? Will I be able to ask for a restaurant or locate a bathroom?!

It’s best to try and learn at least basic greetings and requests, as well as polite phrases and common questions, before hitting the road. If you have time, a few Skype language lessons before leaving home are a great idea, but they can be done while you travel as well.

How To Master Basic Vocab and Phrases

What are the most important things to learn before starting your housesit?

Basic vocab is always a good start. The Live Lingua Project offers a collection of free audio books and courses to get you speaking basic vocab and survival phrases.

During your studies, whether via Skype or while browsing the internet on your own, write key vocabulary words down on flashcards with the definition on the reverse side of the card or, ideally, a picture that shows what the word means. If you have the Anki App, you can search for a virtual flashcard deck of Travel English words so that you don’t have to carry the cards with you.

Then, practice using these words in sentences with friends, or say them out loud to yourself as you travel through locations in your own city. This will help you grow more comfortable and gain confidence with the full sentences needed to make statements and requests when you come to America.

Form a routine and stick to it

You’ve got a list of basic vocabulary for traveling, and you’ve been practicing aloud with yourself by naming places and objects as you travel in your own city. Now it’s time to build a routine — a set time every day, or every couple of days, that you have blocked off for language learning. After all, nothing good happens without will power!

One of the best ways to build a routine is to have accountability. There are a number of free apps designed to help language learners, often specifically catered to the language you need to learn. A quick search in the App store or on Google will turn up some ideas.

Once you have an app or have found a website that you like, get in the habit of utilizing it every day. If you set a time in your calendar to practice each day, or are hit with notifications from the app on your mobile phone, it is much easier to stick to the routine and keep progressing.

Apps and free websites are a great place to start, but it can sometimes be challenging to find a partner willing to practice consistently with you, as there is no real incentive to keep them involved if they decide to stop speaking.

Fortunately, there’s an even better option to take your learning a step further -- native speakers who are always ready to practice whenever it’s convenient for you!

Learn Online from a Qualified Native Instructor

Are you pronouncing words and phrases correctly? Or using the right verb tense and accents? It’s important to note that the free apps you download onto your phone, along with blogs and websites, are great for basics but aren’t going to give you the level of fluency needed to really converse. Native speakers who have mastered the language are the only true way to get ahead.

But for travelers who want to learn a language while housesitting, your best bet is to take lessons with a certified instructor who creates a curriculum based around your specific needs. Live Lingua offers a free trial lesson for all students who sign up here! [schedule a trial lesson today] Learn a language while housesitting:
Final Tips You’ve made a list of words and phrases you’re going to need on your upcoming trip, you’ve reviewed and practiced them over and over, and you’ve even taken awesome lessons with a professional instructor via Skype.

What more can you do? 

Relax and don’t stress yourself out. Locals will appreciate the effort you’ve put in to learn their language, and will be much more willing to converse with you. This could lead to some very exciting ideas and outings that you never would have found otherwise!

House Sitting Sarah, Explores the world out there. and perhaps finds a New place that is uber delicious to live.

Hello Ian,

I have been enjoying house sitting SO much and just wanted to say, "Thanks!

Sarah, exploring her New Worlds.  View Sarah's profile username FreeHeart

I am from San Diego, California, and over the past year and a half have house sat on the Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica,; The Vieques Island of Puerto Rico; next to the Grand Canyon in Arizona for a couple of weeks as a vacation with my son; and in San Diego for a fun stay in my home town in between other house sits.  It has been a marvelous way for me to experience places I'm curious about either from a visitor perspective and/or as a potential next home area.

As my son, who is now a delightful 21 years and has "disabilities", moved toward living in a supported new home, it felt like an excellent time for me to explore the world out there and perhaps find a new place that is uber delicious to live! 

I've been having a marvelous time and look forward to more explorations!  When I started house sitting in June of 2014, I took a leap, sold most of the things in my life and left my home for 4 months on Vieques.

Since then, I've been experiencing a rich sense of being at home in the world and being the one being taken care of by a greater field of Life.  I do look forward to establishing a new home base some day; meanwhile, I'm having a wonderful time without one!

Based on your email address, it looks like you're in Australia.  I'd enjoy visiting that great place sometime!  We'll see what happens!

Thanks for your interest and for the service!


Homeowners From British Columbia, securely Matched with House Sitters, for a 2nd time, so they can enjoy their Holiday, with their 3 spoilt cats in good hands.

Hi Ian -

We have been having the most wonderful luck finding housesitters on the housecarers website.  Very efficient service and I have recommended it to numerous friends.  

We will certainly continue using it often.  We have housesitters currently in our home for 5 weeks while we are away, and another couple coming in January for 3 months

Garden By The River

All the previous ones have been very very good and we have remained email buddies with some of them.  No need to remind us of your wonderful service!

Relaxing in the Gazebo