January 19, 2022

Conversation Partners Program seeking campus volunteers

Huskers participated at the 2021 PIESL Conversational Partners Program kick-off where they connected with international students through conversations and interactions.

Huskers participated at the 2021 PIESL Conversation Partners Program kick-off where they connected with international students through conversations and interactions.

All students, staff and faculty members are invited to sign up for the Programs in English as a Second Language Conversation Partners Program.

Its main purpose is to connect international students with University of Nebraska–Lincoln community members through authentic and friendly conversations and interactions.

This cross-cultural partnership program provides international students with an intimate experience of American culture. In return, American volunteers learn about another country and culture and develop cross-cultural competencies. These interactions help foster a global community.

Program Objectives:

- Foster positive intercultural relationships between new international students and university community members.

- Help international students learn more about and adjust to American culture.
Provide important social support for and extend hospitality to international students during their initial adjustments to life in America.

- Offer all students an opportunity to learn about new cultures and how to communicate in a diverse society.

- Encourage American students to gain cross-cultural understanding and global perspectives.

- Raise international awareness, promote international education and contribute to the university’s comprehensive internationalization efforts.

- Give student participants a place to fit into the international community, as engagement in extracurricular activities increases student retention rates.

The Conversational Partners Program matches international students with English native speaker volunteers, including students, staff and faculty.

Students and volunteers interested in the program apply online to participate in the conversation partners program. The program coordinators match international students with volunteers based on the information prospective participants provide in their applications. Coordinators take major of study, hobbies, interests and other preferences into consideration when matching participants into small groups.

The coordinators will send an email to initiate contact for each group of partners. Then, participants will be responsible for communicating the details of their meetings for the rest of the semester. We encourage setting up frequent and regular meeting times depending on your availability. Meeting two to four times a month can be helpful to achieve the objectives of the program.

The coordinators will send bi-weekly check-in emails to all program participants to make sure that all participants continue to have a positive experience in the program.

To learn more, visit the Programs in English as a Second Language website.

The deadline to register is Jan. 28. More details can be found in the registration form.