Brain fitness can come in many forms. Social interaction and brain games have both been deemed helpful in boosting your brainpower. As it turns out, learning a foreign language is also a stellar way of improving brain function. As we mention in Brain Fitness Tips, teaching your brain to hear and process new sounds and configurations forms new connections in your brain.
I may be a bit biased since I majored in Spanish, but learning languages can be really fun. Not only will it prepare you for an amazing trip, but it also opens up doors to new cultures. And I have made so many friends by speaking another language! In my experience, learning a language that is written with completely different characters – like Mandarin Chinese – adds an additional challenge. Not only are you working your word skills, but you are also stimulating your memory and visual perception skills as you strive to recall certain characters and their meanings.
The Ultimate Chinese (or Spanish, Italian, or French) is great for the beginner or someone returning to the language after years without speaking it. It offers 40 lessons and 8 hours of recordings that help immerse you in the language. Then take a trek to Chinatown and see what you learned!