Activities and Opportunities

Conversation Partner Program

The Conversation Partner Program for Summer Session 2015 runs June 8 - July 31, 2015.


International Students

Do you want to practice your English and learn about American culture? Register here.

UWM Students

Do you want to help an international student practice English and learn about American culture? Register here.

You will be notified by email about your partnership as soon as possible.

How the Program Works:

One international student and one UWM student become conversation partners who meet for one hour each week to talk informally about any topics they are both interested in. The partners can decide when and where to meet. Partners commonly meet for lunch or coffee, and after getting to know each other, often go to events in the city like concerts and tours.

Guidelines for International Students

Guidelines for American Students

The Conversation Partner Program is beneficial for both partners. It helps international students become more comfortable speaking English and gives them a chance to ask questions they might not feel comfortable asking in class. They can also learn about American culture and gain perspective on what it is like to be a student at an American university. Their partner may also show them around campus and Milwaukee.

The program also gives UWM students the opportunity to get to know a person from another country and learn about another culture without leaving Milwaukee! It also lets the student see what the UWM experience might be like for an international student. 

Some students who are learning a second language are able to participate in language exchanges with partners who natively speak that language, allowing the conversations to be half in English and half in the international students’ language. 

We hope that the Conversation Partner Program will bring two students together and allow them both to gain perspective and a friend.

For more than 30 years, the UWM ESL Program has run the Conversation Partner Program. As the international student population increases at UWM, we hope that the program will continue to grow and foster important relationships and friendships between students.


If you have any questions about the Conversation Partner Program or want to get involved, contact the Program Coordinator. Email:


Field Trips & Social Events

The ESL Program organizes at least one field trip each month. Teachers and students enjoy these trips together as a way to spend time together and get to know each other outside the classroom, speak English, and explore the exciting activities in and around Milwaukee. All students pay an activity fee as a part of the ESL Program tuition, which makes these activities free to students.


Questions about Field Trips?

Visit the ESL Office in Curtin 672 or email

Volunteer Program

The ESL Volunteer Program is a popular way for many ESL students to take part in community events. We try to involve as many students as possible at all levels of English, depending on the needs of the host organization. There are many benefits of volunteering with this program, and it’s fun!
It can help you:
     1. To use and improve your English skills!
     2. To learn about American culture
     3. To gain new skills
     4. To interact with Americans
     5. Become part of the community

We volunteer at many different events. Some of our popular annual events include:

Festivals: Summerfest, Indian Summer Festival, Urban Ecology Center Festivals – and more!

Holiday Events: Milwaukee Public Museum Halloween Event Ushering at Local Theaters: Skylight Music Theatre, The Milwaukee Chamber Theater, and UWM’s Peck School of the Arts Events (Dance, Concerts, Theater, etc.)

Check your email for information about the next Volunteer Meeting!