Meet a new friend through the PLACE program this fall

By Lexy Townsend and Hannan Colvin, Engagement Coordinator and Project Coordinator. staff.

Interested in meeting a new friend from a culture other than your own and practicing your language skills? You've come to the right PLACE (pun intended). The Program for Language and Culture Exchange (PLACE), being piloted in fall 2020, is primarily designed to promote cultural exchange, provide virtual social interaction and enhance language skills.

Upon registering, you will be thoughtfully matched with a fellow Sun Devil from around the globe  for a semester of virtual conversation.

How the fall 2020 pilot works

  • Fill out this form with your information, interests and preferences to be included in the program. The form will close on September 13, 2020 for the pilot, but will reopen for future semesters. Please check back for additional dates.
  • We will confirm that you have an ASURITE.
  • Through a careful matching process, you will be paired with a conversation partner for the semester. You will also be sent a packet which will include tips for communicating with your partner, guidelines for the program and resources in case you run into conflict. 
  • Then comes the fun part, introductions! You will be introduced to your conversation partner via email.
  • You and your conversation partner will arrange times to meet virtually and chat at least twice a month for 1 hour for the duration of the program.
  • You will be sent monthly conversation topics, which are completely optional. 
  • At the end of the semester, be on the lookout for a survey about your experience with the program. Your feedback is valuable in understanding what worked well and how it can be improved.

You may choose to keep in contact with your conversation partner after the program has completed!

Want a preview of the program?

Here are some helpful hints for successful conversation partnerships:

  • You may be outside of your comfort zone, and that’s okay! This is an opportunity to open up a discussion about the differences and similarities in the norms and values of your respective cultures.
  • As an ice breaker, learn to pronounce one another’s names. Don’t be embarrassed to ask your partner to repeat it as many times as it takes.
  • Speak at a natural pace. If you talk fast, try to slow down. Otherwise, speak at your normal pace.
  • Please be patient and give your partner ample time to collect their thoughts and respond. It is recommended to limit your use of slang to ensure there is mutual understanding about what is being said.;
  • Please be mindful of overcorrecting your conversation partner when they make mistakes. Allow your partner to finish speaking and consider comprehension over perfection. Overcorrecting can hinder the development of fluency, so only correct errors that block communication. 
  • Have fun!

This may be the PLACE you make a lifelong friend!

If you have any questions prior to registering, please contact us at hcolvin3@asu.edu.

< Previous article Next article >

Request Information

To learn more about ASU Online or a specific program, fill out the form below and check your email for information on next steps.