UW Graduate School

February 26, 2015

Talk All Day

Where can I find a place which requires me to speak English all day long? I’m a foreign student, and I want to practice my English speaking. —Jinchang

Hello! Welcome to Seattle and UW! An organization that immediately comes to mind is the Foundation for International Understanding Through Students (FIUTS). They host a monthly lunch, weekly Conversation Groups, fun outings, volunteer opportunities and more. Please do check them out.

Another UW program is the Language Exchange Program, where you are matched with a native English speaker for conversation practice. The Seattle Public Library also holds Talk Time, an ESL conversation group, at several locations.

There are also several UW-programs meant as an intensive orientation to incoming students, but if you really think you would benefit from a short-term immersion, you should check out the following: Campus Intensive English ProgramDowntown Intensive English Program, Advanced Conversation Course, Advanced Academic Preparation Skills.

In addition, there are many informal ways you can practice your English. You could join Toastmasters or join a MeetUp, or you could take up a volunteer opportunity on your own. If you need help locating a position, you can start with VolunteerMatch or United Way or this nice round-up of Seattle opportunities. Here’s some additional information about volunteering as a way to enrich your own language experience.

The Graduate School understands international students face unique challenges and also offer myriad contributions to our campus. If you’re interested, please see our International Students Report 2014, detailing international admissions and enrollment trends and how to best serve the needs of international students and the larger UW graduate community.

*Ask the Grad School Guru is an advice column for all y’all graduate and professional students. Real questions from real students, answered by real people. If the guru doesn’t know the answer, the guru will seek out experts all across campus to address the issue. (Please note: The guru is not a medical doctor, therapist, lawyer or academic advisor, and all advice offered here is for informational purposes only.) Submit a question for the column →