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Conversation Partner Program - Spring 2020

Conversation Partners iconThe Conversation Partner Program is a free, volunteer program in which international students and scholars at UC Merced are matched with local members of the UC Merced community for conversation and to perhaps learn a bit about American culture. Each set of partners decides on a regular time and day to meet for an hour or more each week for conversation on or off campus. This program is open to the UC Merced community, including graduate students, scholars, staff, faculty and undergraduates from the US and abroad. International spouses may also participate! Most partnerships are begun in the fall and continue through the spring, but people can join any time of year. We are now accepting applications for Spring 2020.

APPLICATION DEADLINE:  The main deadline for spring was Friday, January 24, but applications accepted throughout the year! APPLY NOW!

>>>> Click here to complete the ONLINE APPLICATION . <<<<

Conversation Hour & Fika: This is an optional, no-host activity in the tradition of Swedish fika, and open to anyone. Spring 2020 Conversation Hours are the second Thursday of each month: Feb. 13, Mar. 19 (postponed from the 12th), and April 9, 3:30-4:30pm. As of March 2020, these are held ONLINE through until further notice. We might not be meeting face-to-face, but we can still talk and have a good time.

Upcoming Conversation Partner Events:  Next up is Conversation Hour Online on Thursday, March 19th. Upcoming face-to-face events are postponed until further notice. 

Below are some photos from 2019-20 Conversation Hour events, starting with the Feb. 13 Conversation hour and then the Jan. 31 Dinner/Film Festival evening together:

Conversation Hour 2-13-20 

Dinner at J&R Tacos At the 2020 Wild & Scenic Film Festival downtown Enjoying frozen yogurt after the film festival

Jan 26, 2020 Potluck:

Hot pot!At dinnerPlaying trivia game at Jan. potluck

Fall 2019 Thanksgiving Potluck

Conversation Hour : Sauce Tasting!

    Checking out the dressings & sauces     

Below are photos from various weeks of Conversation Hour in the 2018-19 school year:

Darth Vader & Luke Skywalker battle it out in an improv game  

Neelam comparing spelling of "jazz"

A few photos of fall 2018 Conversation Partner Program events are below. Join in! 




Group playing game at Coffee Bandits Sept. 4, 2018

Call Belinda Braunstein at 209-228-4762 or send email to if you have any questions about this free program for the UC Merced community and international family members.

This page was last updated March 16, 2020.