Often the most daunting thing about spending an extended amount of time abroad is getting a solid grasp of the native language. A student’s level of confidence in the way they speak and interact with individuals can have a major impact on academic work, professional progression, and even daily life.
An easy way to learn conversational English and get better footing with the language is to get a conversation partner. This can be as formal or informal as you decide to make it. Finding someone who you can regularly talk to without worry or fear of mistake, one who will correct you and help you become more advanced, can really benefit the experience of studying abroad.
In the United States there are many avenues available to students wishing to acquire a conversation partner. If a student doesn’t have a friend readily available to help them out, there might be a program set up for them such as the University of New Mexico’s Center for English Language and American Culture, which matches international students to locals for the simple purpose of learning better English. Many universities across the United States have similar programs with the same goals, all one needs to do is look into the school’s International Student Affairs Office (or equivalent) and ask about resources to aid in learning English. If there aren’t any resources locally, a quick web search can help a student find a conversation partner online.