Conversation Partners Program
The Conversation Partners Program is a collaborative initiative arranged by faculty in ESOL and International Student Services, Residential Life and Student Development. The goal is to provide an environment for ESOL students to practice and develop their speaking skills and to introduce students interested in peer leader positions to new cultures and experiences.
Students in the ESOL program are paired with students taking the Peer Advising Skills Seminar class. The program begins in January and lasts for the first eight weeks of the spring semester.
The staff plans a dinner where the conversation partners are introduced. Partners are asked to meet for a minimum of 1.5 hours each week and practice conversational English. It is a great opportunity for language development and cultural exchange.
To provide additional opportunities for bonding and conversation, a late night bowling excursion and joint classes are scheduled for the group. These activities are mandatory for all students who participate in the program.
Here is what students had to say about their Conversation Partner experience:
Students from the COLL 104 Peer Advising course
- “During the past eight weeks my listening skills, communication skills and my knowledge of the world have improved vastly. This is a program I would do again and encourage others to do.”
- “Between class discussions and lessons I learned from my new friend, I feel stronger as a person and more ready to step up and be a leader for others.”
Students in the ESOL program
- “My conversation partner taught me about American culture and encouraged me to try new foods and activities. I shared Korean culture with her.”
- “This program gave me the chance to meet other people and make new friends. I wish we had the opportunity to meet more frequently.”
International Coffee Hour
International Coffee Hour is an informal gathering in which Columbia College students, staff and faculty meet monthly for informal conversation, primarily about cultural topics.
International Club is open to all interested students at Columbia College. Through cultural, educational and social activities, the club promotes understanding and appreciation of different cultures. Meetings are held weekly.
Lunch Beyond Borders
Lunch Beyond Borders is an opportunity to improve language and culture skills in a fun and relaxed environment while making connections with faculty, staff and students across campus. Enjoy a meal together in Dulany Dining Hall every Tuesday at 11:15 a.m. Look for the marked tables!
Student Activities and Trips
The ESOL program plans an assortment of cultural enrichment activities and outings each semester. Typical activities include movies, sports and weekend trips to nearby locations.