Frequently Asked Questions - Language Exchange Program

Language Exchange Program

Frequently asked questions related to the Language Exchange Program.

How do I sign up?

All you have to do is attend an orientation! There you will learn more about our program formats, meet fellow language enthusiasts, and fill out an intake form. We will use the information from your form to match you with your partner(s).

What is the time commitment for LEP?

As a participant in LEP, you can set your schedule to whatever works best for you. So that your practice remains consistent, we ask that participants in the pair/trio format meet for at least 1 hour per week.

I participated in LEP last semester. Do I have to sign up again?

Welcome back! Returnees do not need to attend info sessions—however, you must attend an orientation to continue in LEP this semester. We’ve made a few changes to the program and want to keep you up-to-date.

I attended the orientation and submitted my intake form. However, I have not gotten information about my partner. What should I do now?

Pairings are sent out periodically as we find suitable matches. Thank you for your patience!

Can you guarantee I’ll get a partner for my first choice language? Can I be matched with someone of a particular gender/student standing/age?

We do our best to accommodate everyone’s preferences—however, we can’t guarantee that there is someone in the program who is the perfect match. Some semesters, there are no speakers of a certain language participating, in which case we will do our best to match you with your second choice language.

What if my partner doesn’t return my phone calls or is too busy to meet me?

Please allow at least 48 hours for your partner to respond. As all participants are busy Berkeley students, pairs/trios are not always able to make their schedules work. If your partner drops the program, please let us know and we will work to reassign you.

I have already received my partner information, but want to practice multiple languages. Can I get more partners?

Because of the amount of requests we receive, we are only able to assign each participant once. Please consider attending Language Pods and Conversation Groups to practice other languages. In addition, there may be opportunities to meet other partners and change languages at our socials throughout the semester.

What sort of things do partners usually talk about?

Partners are free to have an open conversation about any topic they choose! Common topics include colloquialismsfood, hobbies, politics, pop culture, religion, social customs, and student life.

What are some of the most popular languages for LEP?

Our most popular languages are English, French, German, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, and Spanish, but students are practicing a variety of languages from around the globe. Over the past year, we've had speakers of over 26 different languages!