Conversation Partner Program

The AEM Program matches international students (for whom English is not the primary language) at USF with members of the USF community who are highly proficient English speakers and have deep knowledge of American culture. Conversation partners meet regularly throughout the semester, approximately once a week for at least an hour, and talk about anything they want.

The Conversation Partner Program (CPP) allows international students to build their English communication skills and learn about U.S. culture and college life. It also allows international students to share their own culture and perhaps their language with others. Sometimes friendships and networks are formed that last beyond the CPP program.

We provide conversation tips and new ideas for participants in the program. Students may repeat the program with the same or different partners.

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All USF students, faculty, and staff that are fluent/native English speakers are welcome to apply. Conditionally admitted, undergraduate AEM (formerly ESL) students take priority for applying as Conversation Partners looking to improve their English. Full admitted international students and graduate students looking to improve their English will be placed on a waitlist and only matched if we have extra native/fluent English speakers available.

It is difficult for many international students to meet Americans with whom they can practice their English. Our international students are often very eager to learn more about American culture, student life, conversational phrases, slang, etc. Through the Conversation Partner Program, a native English speaker meets with an international student at least once a week to discuss topics of mutual interest.

The Conversation Partner Program is held every fall and spring semester. You are welcome to sign up again and as often as you'd like after participating in it for one semester. 

Conversation Partners decide their own meeting times. Meetings will vary in time and place, depending on what is most convenient for you and your conversation partner. We ask that students meet at least once a week.

Please complete the application online. Conversation Partners will be matched according to available age, interests, and particular language or country that you are interested in. We will try our best to accommodate your interests.

Partners will receive a handbook with conversation guides and suggestions to follow but it is not required. Participants can converse openly on topics that occur organically.

No. Participation in the Conversation Partner Program is completely voluntary.