Students abroad often complain that they don’t have enough opportunites to make friends outside the American student group. At the AUCP, by the end of their first week of study, students meet their language partners, usually a French student or young professional currently studying English for career or personal goals. At the very least, this two-hour conversation exchange (one hour French, one hour English) gives each student a chance to chat with another language learner sensitive to the frustrations of mastering a new language. And if the chemistry is right, friendships develop which grow into networks of local contacts and dinner invitations and camping trips and concerts . . . all à la française.
« Language partners are an amazing and rare opportunity to see how life is lived at your age in another culture. » Julie Murray, Marist College
The AUCP language partner requirement is part of « French Practicum » which is the cornerstone of all AUCP advanced French immersion programs. French Practicum consists of academic course work combined with experiential learning components (individual homestay, community service requirement, personal interest activity, language partner…) It provides students with multiple opportunities for natural linguistic and cultural engagement & exchange, as well as a forum for « cultural mentoring », designed to facilitate learning through guided reflection on the students’ cultural experiences.