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International Student & Scholar Services

Language Exchange Program

Are you interested in practicing foreign languages - English, Spanish, French, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Italian, and others? Please join the Language Exchange Program (LEP). We match students who wish to practice and improve foreign language skills. Open to international and US students.

How it Works

  • ISSS will match students based on their request and preferences.
  • Language partners meet at least once a week during the semester.
  • Language partners meet on the American University main campus for safety and convenience.
  • You spend half of the time speaking your native language and the other half in your partner’s native language.
  • At the end of the semester, you and your partner may continue language exchange into the following semester, or you may be assigned a new partner as necessary.
  • This program is available only to AU students.
  • Depending on the needs of languages, you may not be matched with a language partner immediately.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Improve foreign language skills
  2. Gain language teaching skills
  3. Enhance cross-cultural communication skills
  4. Prepare for study abroad
  5. Build Social Connections


To submit your application, click here. Please contact with any questions.

Student Quotes about their LEP Experience

  • "My partner and I went out to eat multiple times (from classic DC brunch to Korean food). We also attended a Chinese New Year event together, and we plan on meeting in Beijing this summer while I study abroad there. My partner from last semester is also going to show my around Beijing this summer - it's great that we were able to maintain our friendship.” (Lindsay, SIS, USA)
  • "My American partner and I met 3 times every week, because she was going to Brazil for Alternative Spring Break and wanted to be able to speak Portuguese. I tried to teach her as much as I could in the short period of time we had. Now that she came back, she still wants to learn Portuguese and is extremely excited to go back there sometime soon. It made me really happy!" (Valentina, SIS, Brazil)
  • “I am a Chinese American who started learning Chinese about two years ago. It was really interesting to talk with my language partner about her perceptions of people in my circumstance. I hadn't realized how proud Chinese people are of their culture. As an outsider who looks like an insider, it is more important for me to learn to adhere to Chinese customs than any other American. I'm also grateful that I got to meet my partner. She is an amazing person, and has had a really tough semester living in America. I'm glad I was able to become her friend and stand by her.” (Zoe, SPA, USA)
  • “My language partner is going to study abroad at my university in Japan, which is my pleasure. We did teach our languages to each other, but more importantly, we discussed some sensitive issues between Japan and China. I would not forget those great experiences.” (Yuki, Abroad at AU from Waseda University, Japan)
  • "I plan on studying abroad in Beijing in my junior year, and my language partner gave me a lot of tips about being a foreigner in China. I'm also a lot more aware of the cultural differences between China and the US now, so I look forward to applying what I've learned so far to my study-abroad time in China." (Kristin, CAS, USA)