While English is not the official language in Mongolia, more and more people are opting to study English due to increased tourism and investment opportunities from Westerners.
More and more Mongolian students are opting to study in the U.S, UK, or Australia for their college degrees if they get the opportunity and chance to study abroad. However this was not the case 20-30 years ago. Most people international Mongolian students back then went to Eastern Europe for their study abroad programs, however with the increasing influence of Western culture, there is a shift.
Can You Get By With English in Mongolia?
Most schools nowadays teach some basic English; most private schools have an English curriculum in some instances, schools such as ISU, Hobby, Orchlon, British School of UB etc. People who live in the capital Ulaanbaatar, will be able to say a few things here and there, but compared to countries such as Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, etc, English is not widely spoken.
While it is advised to know some basic Mongolian phrases and grasp of the Cyrillic alphabet, you could get by in the capital Ulaanbaatar, though with some difficulty. Outside of the capital, not a lot of people can speak English and will have difficulty communicating with you.
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