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English Programs for Internationals

Conversation Partners

If you would like to meet EPI's current students, please consider becoming a Conversation Partner. 

How does the conversation partner program work? The conversation partner program pairs EPI students with native speakers of English for conversation. This gives the EPI student a chance to meet an American and practice English. It gives the American a chance to meet someone from another country and broaden his/her cultural experience.

Americans are paired with EPI students based upon gender and language preference as well as interests. Partners must commit to meeting together for one hour a week. If you are learning your EPI partner's language, please plan to practice speaking English before practicing your partner's language.

When will I be assigned a partner? New partners are assigned every term, at the beginning of each EPI term. Americans who sign up for a conversation partner will be given a partner either at the beginning of the next term or as soon as a suitable partner becomes available.

What languages do the students at EPI speak? Most of the students who come to EPI come from countries where Chinese, Korean, Japanese, or Arabic is spoken. Some come from countries where Spanish or Turkish is spoken. Only a few come from countries where Italian, French, or German is spoken.

How well will my partner be able to speak English? American partners DO NOT need to be able to speak the native language of their EPI partners. Only the students who are in the intermediate and advanced levels of English study are placed in the Conversation Partner Program. The advanced level students are nearly ready to begin classes in a regular university setting.

Please note, however, that even the most advanced students find phone calls and making appointments difficult. Therefore American partners should be willing to initiate the contact and must be very clear and specific about appointment times and places.

How do I get started? You will be contacted by e-mail or telephone with your partner's name and contact information. Please contact the student as soon as you have this information. Contact may be made by phone, e-mail, or text message. Americans may also come to their partner's afternoon Speaking/Listening class (Monday-Thursday from 1:25-3:05 p.m. or 3:20-5:00 p.m.) to meet their partners for the first time.

How do I apply? Simply go to Conversation Partner Application to apply to be a Conversation Partner for a current EPI student.

Go to Conversation Partner Application to apply to be a Conversation Partner for a current EPI student.