In the spirit of fostering cross-cultural connections, InterExchange took a look at the programs we offer and identified an additional opportunity for exchange. The Language Partner Program was created as a way to connect participants from different InterExchange programs to help each other practice their foreign language skills. Currently this program pairs international Career Training USA participants with U.S. citizens who have returned from programs abroad for informal chats over Skype, Hangouts, Facetime, etc. and sometimes in person. With over 25 matches so far, we’ve already received some great feedback:
I want to thank InterExchange for pairing me with Lucie. She is very pleasant to talk to, and I feel like the connection helps. We speak in both languages and are each interested in helping the other. Elle E. from the U.S.
Image courtesy of James and Signe
Everything is going well so far! Since we have both been so busy, we have been communicating by email, but are planning a Skype call in the near future. It has been very easy to get in touch. Sophia G. from the U.S
At this point, we have largely been focusing upon getting to know each other better through emails about one another's personal lives and travels. While we have not begun any formal English training, this colloquial use in writing is helping my partner, I think, become more comfortable with the idea that his English doesn't have to be perfect. Laken B. from the U.S.
While we try to match partners based on target language, in some cases we can match based on location as well, giving partners the opportunity to meet up in person. Check out what Ashlee B. from the U.S. and Jessica L. from France had to say about their special experience on the program:
[Jessica] arrived in Los Angeles two weeks ago and I met with her last weekend. Everything went very well. We went out to eat and I drove us around LA so she can start seeing the city. Since her English is way more advanced than my French, we mainly speak in English.
I do need to practice up on my French a bit more to have a consistent conversation with her. However, she is great at helping me say and pronounce words or phrases I would like to learn. I am using this opportunity to help Jessica speak better English and show her around Los Angeles/Southern California, learn more French, and make a new friend.
And here's Jessica’s reflection on the program after she completed her internship and returned to France:
During my stay in LA, I had the chance to meet Ashlee. We immediately got along very well! We hung out few times together around LA. I didn't have a car there but Ashlee did, so she drove me to some places I would probably haven't gone by myself. For example, we went to Beverly Hills, Pasadena, or went for a hike in Runyon Canyon.
We exchanged on both our experiences and travels. She went to Italy as a teacher and it was good to hear about it! We also talked about our cultures and their differences, we taught each others some slangs and fun words. But we also talk about everything and nothing. She became a real friend and even a confidante, giving me some advice and share her point of view about my stories.
Now I do hope we stay in touch and that we will see each other again soon, in the U.S. or in France! Until then, we can keep reaching out thanks to WhatsApp!
Thank you again for introducing me to her, it was really good to have a native American in my surrounding and most of all, to gain a new good friend!
Learn more about our Language Partner Program and sign up to join!