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Learn a new language with the Language Exchange program

Volunteer with the International Centre’s Language Exchange program, learn a new language and meet like-minded people from around the world.

July 21, 2021 — 

Are you learning a second language and looking for conversation partner? The International Centre’s Language Exchange program may be for you.

The Language Exchange program connects people who speak different languages but share similar interests. The partners meet each week to practice each other’s languages and learn about each other’s culture in a friendly, relaxed environment.

Partners can exchange any two languages.

Veronica Coppolaro, a PhD student in the Centre for Earth Observation Science, is fluent in Italian and she wanted to improve her Spanish. Through the program, she was paired with a fluent Spanish speaker who wanted to work on her Italian.

“The program was fun, and I had the chance to start learning a new language,” says Coppolaro. “The best thing, though, was that I found a great language exchange partner, Veronica from Colombia. During the program she was always super organized and punctual, but also a very nice person to just have a chat with and exchange knowledge about our cultures.”

Coppolaro adds that the program gives participants the freedom to decide how they want to structure their sessions.   

 “This means that you can pick your own topic and focus on certain aspects of learning a language,” she says. “You can personalize your schedule depending on the reason why you joined the program; for example, you are free to focus more on conversation than practicing grammar; or you can aim to expand your vocabulary.” Coppolaro notes this requires a bit of planning before your meeting, but she says “it is definitely worth it.”

The program is open to all international students and Canadian student who are studying remotely or in-person. It is also open to spouses of students, as well as faculty and staff who are interested in practicing a language conversationally and learning about a different culture.

Coppolaro says the program was a great opportunity to learn a language and practice her teaching skills in a friendly environment. “Don’t be shy and make the most of this learning opportunity! You are going to have fun and your language partner may even become a good friend,” she says.

For more details and to apply, visit the Intercultural Experience website. The application deadline is September 13.

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