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Volunteer Information

CONVERSATION PARTNERS PROGRAM (CPP)

The Conversation Partners Program is an opportunity for international students whose native language is not English to practice their conversational English in a relaxed, friendly environment.

Why Conversation Partners?
International students who are learning English often feel well-prepared for the requirements of the classroom, but feel less comfortable with everyday, colloquial language.  Conversation Partners Program provides a confidence-building opportunity for international students to try out the language they hear around them, and gives them a personal connection to someone at the University, helping them feel at home in their new environment.

Who Can Take Part in the Conversation Partners Program?
For the time being, the program is limited to St. John’s employees and students. In the future, we hope to open the program to community members.

Expectations of Partners
Partners are expected to meet with their partner once per week for one semester of informal conversation at a mutually agreeable time and place.  It’s that simple!

To participate in the program, complete the online form.

SHARE YOUR HOLIDAY PROGRAM

Why Share Your Holiday?
International students are amazing. In coming to the U.S. and St. John’s, they typically find themselves surrounded by a new language, foreign customs, and markedly different cultural expectations — and they have to manage these differences while also studying and creating a new, local support network. Holidays are a special time, when our cultural traditions are most obvious, and most varied.  By including an international student in your holiday celebration, you will have the opportunity to offer an “insider’s view” on your culture and traditions, and to learn about those of your guest.  In addition, at a time when dorms are often empty, and international students may feel lonely and excluded, it may help to mitigate feelings of homesickness.  For the fall 2017 semester, hosts will be sharing their Thanksgiving celebrations on Thursday, November 23.

Who Can Take Part in Share Your Holiday?
For the time being, the program is limited to St. John’s employees and students. In the future, we hope to open the program to community members.

Expectations for Program Participants
Determine how many guests you can host, and let us know.  You’ll be provided contact information for your guests, and you will be asked to contact your guest(s) by November 15th, to make arrangements to share your holiday.  In addition to providing logistical information, such as time, location, and suggested travel information, you can communicate expectations to your guest(s) regarding attire, and their participation in the day’s events (will they be expected to help cook dinner? Play flag football after your meal?)  In addition, it is always advisable to ask about potential food restrictions, or any other concerns your guest(s) might have.

To participate in the program, complete the online form.