Tara Callaghan 0

Conversation Partner Program Expansion

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Intercultural communication is extremely beneficial to everyone. By learning about the cultures and customs of others we gain valuable knowledge and insight about many aspects of the world.

Students enrolled in the Professional Writing in a Global Context course at the University of Pittsburgh have the opportunity to receive one credit for participating in a Conversation Partner program. By taking part in this program, students get paired with an international student and are required to meet once a week for at least an hour. During that hour the students can do whatever activities they please. Some partners went out to eat, some went to museums or the cinema, others would go to the gym. The purpose of this program is to give international students a chance to work on their spoken English. However, this program offers many more benefits than just that.

The Conversation Partner program encourages American and International students to interact. This is important because international students often isolate themselves as a direct result of culture-shock, homesickness. Difficulty adjusting to an entirely new environment commonly leads to poor mental health and negative psychological effects.

I gained more than I ever expected by participating in this program. Yes, I was able to add it to my resume, but more importantly I was able to experience the joy of improving the college experience of a Chinese international student and forge a lifelong friendship as well.

I know that many other students would jump at this opportunity if allowed. So it is my sincere hope that PITT will recognize the positive influence this program would have on the student body if expanded.

Thank you for your time and attention! I hope you sign my petition.

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