Language Exchange Program


Are you an international student who wants to practice speaking English, or a fluent English speaker who wants to make friends, learn about a different culture and practice another language?

The UW Language Exchange Program matches English language learners with fluent English speakers for conversational and cultural exchange.

To learn more about this program, click on the section header below that is appropriate to your background.

  • English Language Learners
    • Improve your English fluency, make a friend and learn about American culture. Conversation partners meet at least once a week to talk or attend an activity together.
    • How It Works
      • Apply online
      • You will receive your partner's contact information once you are matched.
      • Contact your partner and make plans to meet in a convenient public place, such as a local coffee shop.
      • Meet one or two times per week. You should spend half of the time speaking in English and the other half in your native language. If the English-speaking partner is not studying your language, you may choose to speak English the whole time.
      • Contact us to report any changes or problems. If problems canít be resolved, we can try to match you with a different partner.
  • Fluent English Speakers
    • Helping English language learners offers a number of benefits. By volunteering you can:
      • Make a new friend
      • Practice speaking a different language
      • Learn about another culture
      • Fulfill community service requirements
    • There are many ways for fluent English speakers to volunteer with the Language Exchange Program. Students are invited to sign up for a conversation partner, volunteer in classrooms and/or attend activities with our students.

    • Conversation Partner
    • We will match you with an international student to meet and talk with on a regular basis. If you are interested in practicing a language, we can try to match you with a student who is a native speaker of that language. Please note: all conversation partners must be affiliated with the University of Washington.
    • How It Works
      • Apply online
      • You will receive your partner's contact information once you are matched.
      • Contact your partner and make plans to meet in a convenient public place, such as a local coffee shop.
      • Meet one or two times per week. You should spend half of the time speaking in English and the other half in the international student's native language. If you are not studying the international student's language, you can choose to speak English the whole time.

    • Volunteering in the Classroom
    • In-class volunteers attend English language classes and help our teachers by providing conversation practice for students. Volunteers visit their assigned class one day a week.
    • How It Works
      • Apply online
      • You will receive an email about scheduling and availability.
      • You will be assigned one class day and time based on your availability; attend this class every week.
      • You will work with the students in small groups.
      • No preparation is required on your part; the teacher will give out all assignments.

    • Activities and Events
    • All volunteers will be regularly invited to attend activities and events throughout the quarter.
    • How It Works
      • Apply online
      • You will receive emails throughout the quarter about various activities and events.
      • Examples of activities that you may attend are:
        • New student pizza party, to help facilitate conversation and games (usually held a week before the quarter begins)
        • Facilitating English conversation group meetings (weekly meetings throughout the quarter)
        • Ice skating with IELP students