1-hour weekly meeting with conversation partners. The volunteer program has expanded to include international graduate students, staff, and scholars who may not be current or prospective TAs but who want to improve their oral English skills and learn more about American culture. LCs meet with 1-2 international partners for an hour a week for 10 weeks of the semester. Rather than a tutoring session, this is a time for relaxed English conversation on topics of mutual interest. Commitment for LCs: A total of one hour per week with your partner(s) at a mutually agreed upon time.
Native-like proficiency in English is required in order to be a Language Consultant. Otherwise, an interest in getting to know people from other cultures and to share one’s own culture is the only requirement..
LCs can work in any of the following areas:
With international graduate or undergraduate students or researchers (LC)
With international UVa staff and employees
With spouses and family members of UVa students
It has been a great pleasure to dine with [my Language Consultant] and keep talking with [him] every week. Sometimes I also think [he] opened a brand new window to me.... I can't thank [him] more, for the joy and help [he] brings to me, at my very beginning year in USA. ~A.L, international graduate student
I've learned many things from her, not only useful English, but also precious life experiences. Now that I'm expecting, she even helped me to pick the name for my baby! That was tons of fun, too. ~J.X., international family member
At first, I met with my language partners each week to discuss our weekly suggested topics. Now, I look forward to sitting down with two old friends and catching up, chatting about everything from Chinese politics to Spanish cuisine. It has been so great to get to know two wonderfully kind, genuine people with an endless curiosity about the world who have inspired me to go out and experience even more! ~ M.F., Language Consultant
I have had an amazing time conversing with T. this past year. When I signed up to volunteer for this program I expected to help my partner learn English and about American culture, but T. taught me so much in return! Meeting with him every week was a pleasure that I enjoyed immensely. ~A.Z., Language Consultant
Q. has taught me a lot about hard work. He is only in his mid-20s, and is close to achieving his PhD. We have very different brains, his math-oriented and mine focused on the liberal arts. This has never stopped us from having some of the most insightful conversations in my year here at UVA. He is truly a great friend. ~A.B., Language Consultant
The first time I met Y. I was completely lost as to what we would talk about. I'm only a 19-year old undergraduate student, while she was a student, a wife, a mother, and even a teacher! But within our first couple meetings I quickly discovered that we would never run out of things to say... She was curious about America and eager to share with me her experiences in China. Y. often thanks me for my time, but in reality I should be the one thanking her for opening my eyes to a world beyond UVa. ~J.F., Language Consultant
I'd like to thank my language partners for the wonderful conversations, laughter, and stories we were able to share this past year. Thank you for sharing so much about your lives and your culture. I would often come out of our conversations in a brighter and happier mood. You gave me a needed breath of fresh air in my week. ~S.M., Language Consultant