Conversation Partner Program

Are you…

  • an international student who wants to practice your English and learn about American culture?
  • a UWM student who wants to help an international student practice English and learn about American culture?

The above two points are the main goals of this program. Our main interests are to help international students improve their English and to build intercultural experience on campus.

The conversation partner program runs during the Fall and Spring semesters. The goal of this program is to give international students the opportunity to improve their English skills with a native speaker of English, to learn more about an English-speaking culture, and to get involved in the campus community. This program requires a semester-long commitment.

Registration for the Fall 2022 Conversation Partner Program is closed.  

(*Please note, we do our best to match everyone to at least one partner; however, this is completely dependent on registration and commitment.) 

Please be sure to read everything on this site to insure that you have all of the necessary information regarding this program.

Register for the Conversation Partner Program! Click on the appropriate link below.

*Please note: we cannot guarantee language specific or gender specific partnerships. We will try our best to match language specific partnerships, however, we do not often have many native speakers of the following languages: Spanish, French, Italian, Russian, Japanese, or German. 

How the Program Works

One international student and one native English speaker become conversation partners (*Please note that due to the high demand for native English speakers, some native English speakers will be paired with two international partners.) who meet for one hour each week to talk informally about any topics they are both interested in. The partners can decide when and where to meet. Partners commonly meet for lunch or coffee, and after getting to know each other, often go to events in the city like concerts and tours.

The Conversation Partner Program is beneficial for both partners. It helps international students become more comfortable speaking English and gives them a chance to ask questions they might not feel comfortable asking in class. They can also learn about American culture (or another English-speaking culture) and gain perspective on what it is like to be a student at an American university. Their partner may also show them around campus and Milwaukee. This program requires a semester-long commitment to meeting your partner on a regular basis.

The program also gives UWM students the opportunity to get to know a person from another country and learn about another culture without leaving Milwaukee! It also lets the student see what the UWM experience might be like for an international student.

We hope that the Conversation Partner Program will bring two or more students together and allow them both to gain perspective and a friend.

For more than 30 years, the UWM ELA Program has run the Conversation Partner Program. As the international student population increases at UWM, we hope that the program will continue to grow and foster important relationships and friendships between students.


If you have any questions about the Conversation Partner Program or want to get involved, contact us at