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English Language Institute

Conversation Partner Program

Welcome to the ELI Conversation Partner Program! Improve your English, share your culture and meet new people. This special program offered by the English Language Institute is a volunteer-based service that connects International students with native English speakers at Pace University. Students meet once a week for a minimum of 1 hour at the Pace University campus or nearby neighborhoods. The conversation is a 12-week program and welcomes new participants at the beginning of each Fall, Spring, and Summer semester.

Information for International ELI students

The ELI Conversation Partner Program is an opportunity for current full-time ELI students to make an American friend and improve their English conversation skills. The program matches ELI students with participating Pace University Undergraduate/Graduate native English speakers for a 1 hour/week meeting. Practicing English outside of the classroom environment is extremely important in improving your proficiency. By speaking with native English speakers you will:

  • Increase your daily vocabulary
  • Learn common idioms and expressions
  • Practice pronunciation
  • Learn about American culture
  • Travel around New York City to new places
  • Build your confidence in speaking English

If you are a current ELI student and would like to participate in the ELI Conversation Partner Program please email us at

Information for Pace University students

The ELI Conversation Partner Program is an opportunity for Pace University Undergraduate and Graduate students to meet a visiting International student and assist them with practicing their English. By volunteering your time you will help them reach their goals and could possibly be their first American friend. We try our hardest to match Pace Students to an ELI student that may be from a country or language group that interests you. By meeting with an International student you will:

  • Learn about a new country and culture
  • Get inside tips about places for future travels
  • Make a friend in a country that you may Study Abroad in
  • Learn phrases in a new language or improve your pronunciation/vocabulary in a language you are already learning
  • Help an English language student build their confidence in speaking English

If you are a current Pace University student, staff, or faculty and would like to participate in the ELI Conversation Partner Program please email us at Please include any country or language preference you may have and major at Pace.

What Students Think About the Conversation Partner Program!

"My partner is a really good friend of mine now. Since I met her, we feel close to each other and she also introduced me to her friends. I'm really appreciated that. She always tries to help me get over my bad feelings like when I feel homesick, stressful about my exams and other things. In person, she is nice and kind." Anh Nguyen, ELI Student

"My partner was perfect with me, now we are friends and I don't consider her as my partner ... we hang out a lot, go to museums, many restaurants, a lot of fun. I'm very thankful to her. She was very nice to me!" - Francois Bugnon, ELI Student

"I had fun playing the role of "American myth buster" and trying to figure things out when she mixed up words, like parade and riot. I also helped her a lot with distinguishing between formal or scholarly language and conversational, everyday language." - Kyla Korvne, Conversation Partner

"It was a great experience to share each life. We talked a lot about many topics, I took real pleasure! Thank you, PACE!" - Maxime Protoy, ELI Student

"It was very rewarding being able to participate in this program. This was the first time I have worked with a low-level English speaker and it challenged me to find ways to come up with new topics to discuss that would be relevant and challenge her to use different vocabulary. I think our partnership worked out really well." Stacey Lee, Conversation Partner

"I think I was best able to help my partner because we are around the same age so we are similar with the types of things that are going on in our lives. think I was helpful with Pierre's speaking improvement because we talked about really basic things that he was having trouble with and he was great with coming to me if he was unaware of how to pronounce a word or didn't know the correct response to a question. I think that really helped him better his English." - Alexandra Balsamo, Conversation Partner