Language Exchange Program

The UNSW Language Exchange Program allows UNSW students and staff  from Australia and overseas to meet and exchange language and cultural insights in a relaxed environment. Participants are matched with a partner/s that speaks their language/s of choice for reciprocal learning. Groups meet and exchange language skills at their own leisure for 1 hour a week and also get the opportunity to meet and mingle with other program participants at social events.

Whether you are interested in making friends that speak a language you want to practice, want to gain insights into cultural codes that are hard to learn from text books or prepare for a trip overseas, this program is for you.

Over 120 different language combinations have been exchanged by 11.000 program participants since 2010! Countless lifelong connections have been made, including two marriages!

The program is FREE and open to all UNSW students and staff and partners of international students. You can be a complete beginner in the language you wish to learn or an advanced speaker!

Program benefits

This program will greatly benefit Australian and international students who wish to:

  • Gain conversational experience and confidence in communicating in another language
  • Increase their competitiveness and employability in Australia and abroad
  • Improve or maintain their language skills
  • Meet friends from Australia and all corners of the world
  • Prepare for a trip, study or employment abroad
  • Take what they're learning in class a step further

"What better way is there to learn, than to meet people from a country who speak the language you would like to practice!"

Wayne See - Participated in English/Mandarin language exchange

From application to conversation

1. Apply

Submit an application online. The outcome of your application will be sent to you by email within 2 weeks of the application deadline. Our matching software matches applicants on a first come first served basis. For sought after languages like English, French, German, Spanish, Japanese and Korean, we may not have enough native speakers to meet the need. Applying early and listing several language preferences, increases your chances to get a match. 

2. Meet and talk

Participants will be invited to a Language Exchange Launch, where they get the opportunity to meet other language exchange program participants and receive advice about how to teach a language and get the most out of the experience! 

During the semester, groups are expected to meet for a minimum of an hour a week except during exam periods and term breaks. It is the responsibility of participants to organise meeting dates and times. All groups are provided with a booklet that includes useful tips and advice that can be used to guide the meetings.

Opportunities will be available throughout the semester for ALL Language Exchange participants to come together.

3. Completion of program

All participants that have met the program guidelines and want a certificate upon completion of the program can ask for a certificate by emailing: international.student@unsw.edu.au

For more information about the program, please email international.student@unsw.edu.au

Program guidelines

  1. YOU COMMIT TO MEETING WITH YOUR LANGUAGE EXCHANGE PARTNER/S REGULARLY, FOR A MINIMUM OF 1 HOUR/WEEK.
  2. RESPOND TO EMAILS FROM YOUR PARTNER/S and SDI
  3. As the Language Exchange Program seeks to develop cross cultural understanding, all participants are entitled to an experience that is free from abusive, disruptive, violent and offensive behaviour.
  4. Demonstrate mutual respect to your exchange partner at all times, particularly in relation to their cultural values, gender, and political or religious affiliations.
  5. Participants must agree to keep relationships free of discrimination, harassment and sexual harassment.
  6. Participants are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times.
  7. All conversation topics and activities should be agreed to by both parties.
  8. All personal information obtained from your partner must remain confidential at all times and must not be forwarded to others without the partner’s consent.
  9. Exchange partners are not to write assignments on behalf of another student. Any evidence of such activity will be regarded as academic plagiarism.
  10. All participants are volunteers and no participant should accept any rewards or financial compensation in return for any support offered through the program.
  11. All university policies apply to members of the program. University misconduct procedures will be applied for any inappropriate behaviour.
  12. The program is not to be used to advertise or recruit for any other associations or groups for religion or political cause.
  13. If you change your phone number or email address, please notify your group as well as SDI.
  14. UNSW will provide your name, telephone number and email address to your language exchange partner/s.
  15. If you have to withdraw from the program for any reason, please advise your group and SDI as soon as possible. 
  16. Any participant who does not comply with the above guidelines and responsibilities may be removed from the program.
  17. If you feel uncomfortable about any aspect of the exchange partnership or encounter any problems in relation to the program, you are advised to immediately email international.student@unsw.edu.au or visit the SDI Office for assistance.

Application

The Language Exchange Program has two intakes a year. Apply by March 10 for the first intake and August 10 for the second intake. 

For further information please email - international.student@unsw.edu.au

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