University of Wisconsion - Eau Claire




International Conversation Partner

15 hours

Community partner: UWEC Barron County
Supervisor: Alexandra Liffrig
Beginning date:
Ending Date:

Service-Learning Proposal Description


Briefly describe the project and the community need to be addressed.

Answer This project is looking for domestic students at UW-Eau Claire – Barron County who will be paired with international students. Students are expected to meet at least twice per month, with a minimum of five hours per month with the goal of building intercultural relationships through interests, language, culture, and friendship. Students who are native or fluent English speakers can assist international students who are English as Second Language (ESL) learners by practicing their English conversational skills. These students need one-on-one practice in conversational English with university students (approximately their age). They may have cultural questions that are not addressed in the classroom, want to learn slang, have questions about social options, etc.


What is the mission of the agency or organization?

Answer The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire – Barron County (UWEC-BC) prepares its students for a diverse world, provides international learning experiences, and expects its graduates to attain intellectual, personal, cultural, and social competencies. In support of this goal, the International Program Coordinator plays a vital role in providing high quality international programs and international support services to the University community. The position supports campus internationalization initiatives and advocates for intercultural competency and lifelong inquiry.


What skills are required for this project? 

Answer A main skill that is required for this project is the desire to develop intercultural friendships and to assist in international students' adjustment to being a student at UWEC-BC. Applicants must have a desire to assist international students with developing and advancing English conversational skills. They must enjoy working with people from different cultures and backgrounds and be comfortable talking about their own experiences. An ideal candidate would have good interpersonal and communication skills, a sense of responsibility and reliability, flexibility, a sense of humor, and dependability.


What are the objectives for the student learning and service?

Answer The four objectives for the student learning and service are: to engage in cultural exchange, to better self and social awareness, to enhance effective communication skills, and to develop a respect for diversity. Students will engage in cultural exchange through the sharing of experiences with international students. They will utilize their interpersonal and communication skills to enrich the international student experience. Students will learn to speak and listen effectively, specifically in regard to intercultural communication. They will also develop skills and knowledge for living in a globally interdependent world through one-on-one interaction with their conversation partner.


What are the availability requirements for the student?

Answer Students must be available approximately 2-4 times per month, totaling 5 hours per month to meet with their conversation partner. This totals out to about 15 hours per semester. Students must ensure that they have the time to utilize for this project and be somewhat flexible with their availability. If you and your partner agree to meet more often, you can earn up to 30 hours in one semester. Please be aware that not every international student may wish to participate this often. If both you and your partner share an interest in other activities such as cooking, sports, art, etc, you are welcome to do those things together or attend events related to those things. If both you and your partner would like to meet more often, you are welcome to, but do not feel pressured to do so. If you cannot continue for any reason, please write your partner, the community partner, and the mentor all as soon as possible.


Additional information (not required).

Answer Please note that this project is dependent on international student availability. Students will be assigned to partners in order of application. You will also need to find a mentor for this project as the supervisor cannot fulfill that role. Students typically utilize a favorite professor or their adviser, if they are agreeable. Your mentor and you will decide together what the project will required in order to complete your service learning. Some past examples include reflection papers, journals, PowerPoint presentation, etc. Once the project is complete, you turn in or review your project with your mentor, not the supervisor of this program. Please contact the supervisor for this project if you have further questions regarding the program or how to start the process.