What is the Language Exchange?
The Language Exchange is a program that matches volunteers with complementary interests in language and culture. Students volunteering in the Language Exchange meets with their respective Conversation Partners every week to practice each other’s languages
and learn about each other’s cultures. The sessions are friendly and informal.
Who can participate in Language Exchange?
The Language Exchange is open to international and Canadian students who are interested in practicing a language conversationally and/or learning about a different culture. Sometimes, spouses of students, University employees, and members of the community
may also volunteer in the program.
Volunteers should be friendly, open to meeting new people, and respectful of differences in culture and communication style. Each volunteer should also commit to meeting with his/her Conversation Partner for 2 hours per week, for a period of 11 consecutive
weeks (i.e., one academic term), and providing the International Centre with feedback throughout the term.
What languages can I practice?
Many students who volunteer in the Language Exchange wish to practice conversational English, but some volunteers are looking to learn other languages (like French, Korean, or Persian). Other volunteers may be more interested in learning about a country’s
culture or history (like Chinese civilization, or Russian literature).
How does the program work?
Conversation Partners are matched according to their interests in language and culture. For example, a volunteer who is fluent in English and wants to learn Spanish may be matched with a volunteer who speaks Spanish fluently and wants to practice conversational
The main goal of Language Exchange is to encourage two-way intercultural learning in a fun, informal, conversational setting.
The program is not meant to work like a formal language class or a tutoring service.
Why should I volunteer in the Language Exchange?
There are many potential benefits to being a Conversation Partner in the Language Exchange!
- learning a new language, or improving your command of a language you already speak;
- sharing your language and culture with a fellow student;
- meeting new people and making new friends;
- preparing for a trip abroad;
- practicing communicating cross-culturally;
- adding this volunteer opportunity to your resume!
A conversation partner may also be eligible to receive an IC Letter of Volunteer Recognition, provided he/she attended a Language Exchange Orientation session at the beginning of the academic term, volunteered in the Language Exchange for 11 consecutive
weeks (meeting with his/her partner for a total of 20 hours or more), and responded promptly to IC requests for feedback throughout the term.
How can I get more information?
For more information about the Language Exchange, please contact
How can I apply to become a volunteer Conversation Partner in the Language Exchange?
Please fill out the application form on the next page and submit it, by the appropriate deadline.
To volunteer during the Winter 2019 term, please submit your application by
4:30 pm (CST) on Friday, January 25th, 2018
If you are selected as a volunteer, IC will contact you with an invitation to attend a brief Language Exchange Orientation Session.
Once you have attended a session, IC will make every effort to match you with a Conversation Partner. Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee that every applicant will be matched successfully.
My contact information is:
U of M Student E-mail Address:
IC will only use your U of M student email account when communicating by email, so please check this inbox often.
In addition to the languages listed above, I can also teach the following languages.
In addition to the options above, I am also interested to learn the following languages:
My goals for volunteering in Language Exchange are:
I think I will be a great Conversation Partner because:
IC can call these two people and ask for references about me:
Your references should not be family members, but they should be people who know you well.
*if you are new to Canada, you may leave this section blank*