MLC offers the Conversation Partner Program for MLC students and native English speakers, which enables students to interact with people outside of the school. Arim, a graduate student at the School of Social Work, University of Michigan, joined this program and partnered with one of our MLC students, Doyoung.
“I met many Korean people in my life and I thought I would like to partner with an international student from Korea,” Arim said. She met with Doyoung, who is from Korea and has been learning at MLC since January 2022. They started a conversation partner in February, and meet each other every other week.
“Doyoung is such a sweet person and it’s always nice to talk with her,” Arim said with a smile. “She said she didn’t speak English well, but actually I was so impressed by her communication skill in English when I first met her!” It is not only Doyoung who doesn’t have enough confidence in their language skills, and it is important for them to have actual experiences of successful communication outside the classroom.
This program can also be a great way to make new friends, especially when you are new to the community. “I didn’t know anyone when I came to Ann Arbor, and it’s really great to meet Arim through this program,” Doyoung said. “Arim is very nice and she always tries to understand my English.” Arim is familiar with Korean culture and it seems that they fit very well with each other for cultural interaction.
Arim added that the great thing about this program is that they can schedule the meeting on their own, at their own pace. “Sometimes we’re both too busy to schedule a meeting, but we don’t need to feel any pressure because it’s a casual gathering to have fun,” Arim said.
According to Arim, the Covid pandemic made her feel the importance of meeting with new people in the same area. “I realized I haven’t met new people for a while, and this program was very nice to have that opportunity.”
Doyoung said she would recommend this program for any MLC students who are interested in. “This is an amazing opportunity for us!”
If you are interested in the Conversation Partner Program, please visit the link here: https://www.englishclasses.com/about-us/conversation-partner-volunteers/