English Conversation Partners Program

The English Conversation Partners (ECP) Program provides a fun and enriching experience for students (Student Peers) who speak English as an additional language, to be paired with a student (Conversation Partner) that speaks English proficiently and fluently.

Through this immersive program, Conversation Partners (CP) and Student Peers (SP) will make plans to meet for at least 1 hour each week during the 6-week program taking place from May 28th to July 3rd 2024.

We are now accepting applications for both Conversation Partners and Student Peers for the Summer 2024 term. Please scroll below to find more information on eligibility and how to register!


Benefits to joining the ECP Program:

  • Develop new friendships and expand your social network.
  • Explore places, restaurants and participate in activities on and off-campus.
  • Expand your worldview, gain new perspectives and enhance your intercultural competency.
  • Improve and learn valuable skills like problem solving, active listening and critical thinking.

Examples of suggested weekly activities to do with your Conversation Partner or Student Peer:

  • Campus and Toronto Tours: showing favorite on-campus spots, touring Toronto neighborhoods together.
  • Informal meetings and activities: having coffee, lunch or walking on campus, virtual Zoom chats, attending workshops, studying at the library
  • Sports and outdoor activities: joining a fitness class together, basketball, soccer 

I want to join as a Conversation Partner

If you are a fluent English speaker, and would like to help your peers practice speaking in English by engaging in activities and conversations, then this is the perfect position for you. By becoming a Conversation Partner, you will have the opportunity to make new friends, learn new languages and culture, and explore places in Toronto.

Conversation Partner-Eligibility Criteria

  • Exchange, Domestic or International students in 3rd year and up and/or graduate student in any year
  • Native English speakers or those who speak fluently and proficiently in English.

What are my responsibilities as a Conversation Partner?

  • Attend mandatory training on either May 22nd or May 23rd
  • Attend the program Kick-off event on May 28th
  • Send and respond to emails in a timely manner
  • Review the weekly activity guide to plan for your meeting with your Student Peer
  • Arrange a time to meet weekly either in-person or virtually with your Student Peer
  • Attend the Closing Event on July 3rd from 6:00-7:30 pm with all program participants
  • Complete the program feedback survey at the end of the program

How does it work?

  • Submit an application to become a Conversation Partner
  • If you’re a successful candidate, you will need to attend a 90-minute VIRTUAL training session on May 22 or May 23 from 5 - 6:30 p.m. (mandatory)
  • After training is complete, you will be paired with a Student Peer
  • You will meet your Student Peer at the Program Kick-off on May 28th at 6-7:30 p.m.
  • You and your student peer will arrange to meet weekly for an hour either virtually or in-person to engage in conversations and activities.

Time Commitment

8.5 volunteer hours in total

  • Attend virtual training (1.5 hours)
  • Attend Program Kick-Off Event (1.5 hours)
  • 1 hour meeting/activity with your Student Peer match x 4 weeks (4 hours)
  • Attend Program Closing event (1.5 hours)

What do I do with the student peer who is paired with me?

You and your peer will arrange to meet weekly by planning activities or meet-ups you both are interested in doing together. As a Conversation Partner, you ask to learn about your peer’s culture and languages they speak and actively engage in conversations

How do I register?

We are now accepting Conversation Partners Applications for the Summer 2024 Term, please fill out this application form. Please read the eligibility criteria carefully before applying.

Please note: Spots are limited and applications will be assessed on a first come- first serve basis.

I want to join as a Student Peer

If you're looking to practice and improve your conversational English skills, make lots of new friends, and interested to learn about other cultures and languages, then this is the perfect position for you. By becoming a Student Peer, you will learn about all the resources and services offered at York University, as well as the opportunity to explore new places with other peers.

Student Peer-Eligibility Criteria

  • All International undergraduate and graduate students are eligible, thought 1st year undergraduate student will receive priority.
  • You speak English as a Second language/Additional language or is an English Language Learner (ELL)

What are my responsibilities as a Student Peer?

  • Attend the program Kick-off event on May 28, 2024 from 6-7:30 p.m.
  • Send and respond to emails in a timely manner
  • Review the weekly activity guide
  • Arrange a time to meet weekly either in-person or virtually with your Conversation Partner
  • Attend the Closing Event on July 3rd from 6 - 7:30 p.m.
  • Complete the program feedback survey at the end of the program

How does it work?

  • Submit an application to become a Student Peer
  • You will receive an email if you are matched with a Conversation Partner in May.
  • You and your Conversation Partner will arrange to meet weekly for an hour either virtually or in-person.

Time commitment

  • 6 hours in total (1 hour a week for 6 weeks including program kick-off and closing event)
  • Attending the Program kick-off on January 23 at 6-7:30 p.m.
  • Attending the Closing event on February 29 at 6-7:30 p.m.

What do I do with the Conversation Partner who is paired with me?

You and your Conversation Partner will arrange to meet once a week by planning activities or meet-ups you both are interested in doing together. As a Student Peer, you ask to learn about your peer’s culture and languages they speak.

How do I register?

We are now accepting Student Peer applications for the Summer 2024 Term, please fill out this application form.

Please note: Spots are limited and applications will be assessed on a first come- first serve basis.