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Marzoa Montalvo

Student Cesar Gabriel Marzoa Montalvo on campus (supplied photo).

Sharing language and culture

Program sparks cross-cultural dialogue among students

January 4, 2019 — 

Amigo. Friend. Ami. Freund.

Thanks to a program organized by the International Centre, University of Manitoba students can practice a new language – and learn about a new culture – in a friendly, informal setting.

The Language Exchange program matches students with complementary interests, who then meet with their respective conversation partners weekly to practice each other’s languages and learn about each other’s cultures – an approach that also sees additional benefits, according to student Cesar Gabriel Marzoa Montalvo.

“I made a new friend and learned some of a new language, while getting to know some Canadian culture and learning a bit more about Canada,” says Montalvo, an international graduate student from Cuba.

With his Language Exchange partner, Montalvo was able to learn the basics of French, while his partner benefited from conversing in Spanish.

“I liked the fact that we could just sit with each other and spend two or three hours chatting,” he says. “We started off talking about ourselves and what we did on the weekend. We talked to each other with no pressure – it’s easier to learn the language that way. We were able to spend time together while learning at the same time.”

Montalvo says he would definitely recommend the program to other students, and in fact, has already recommended it to friends arriving from Cuba to study at the U of M.

“I think (the program) would be very helpful for any student. I was lucky enough to be paired with someone who could teach me French, but (whatever your language choice), it’s a good opportunity to make some friends and get to know some new people,” he says.

All domestic and international students are encouraged to apply for the Language Exchange program by Jan. 25, 2019. Co-Curricular Recognition is provided to all participants who complete and meet the program requirements.

For more information about the Language Exchange program, click here.

Research at the University of Manitoba is partially supported by funding from the Government of Canada Research Support Fund.

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One comment on “Sharing language and culture

  1. Andrey

    Just wanted to say how that’s a great idea to organize a program like that. I used to be an international student myself back in the days, and there was nothing like this around. Would’ve been a completely different experience for me!

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