Conversation Partner Program

What is the Conversation Partner Program?

Office for International Students and Scholars at EMU offers the Conversation Partner Program that will match up international students with American students. The goal of the Conversation Partner Program is to promote meaningful interactions between international students and American students, and to give opportunity for both parties to practice their language of study and learn more about another culture.


Conversation Partner Program Handbook [PDF]

What are the expectations of the partners?

We expect that conversation partners will meet at least one time per week at a mutually convenient time and location. As you develop a friendship and decide that you would like to meet more than that, you are welcome to do so. Our program is unstructured so that conversation partners can plan to do things that interest them the most- for example having coffee together, going out to eat, playing a sport or going shopping together. Since a main goal for the program is for international students to improve their English, we do want you to purposely use at least half of your time using conversational English.

How does OISS decide who my conversation partner will be?

The OISS wants this experience to be beneficial for both the American student and the international student. To best match students, we will look at gender and language preferences, common interests and fields of study. Although your partner may have some similar interests, it is our hope that you can teach each other something new based on your unique qualities and backgrounds. Since this is a voluntary program, we cannot guarantee your international partner speaks your language of interest.

How do I participate?

The Conversation Partner Program is offered every fall and winter term. If you are interested in participating, please complete the application below and submit it by the deadline on the application. After you submit an application, we will partner you with someone and you will be able to meet for the first time at a reception listed on the application. If you are unable to meet your partner at the reception, you will need to contact your partner and arrange another time to first meet.

Conversation Partner Application

Where do I go if I have further questions?

For more information, please contact:

Chris Van Wasshenova
International Programs Coordinator
240 Student Center
734.487.3116 |

Quotes from past Conversation Partner students

“...I have wonderful friends that I wouldn't trade for anything - they are some of the coolest, most amazing people I know. I would take three conversation partners at once if I could!”
- Bethany Carleson 

“I had, and I still have, a great time with Eliot, my English partner… My English has been improving since I used this program.”
- Aziz Alfakhri 

“Having a conversation partner has really opened my eyes, not only to another country, but also to my own.”
- Sarah LeMaster

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