Cami Carrasco, Schreiner University

I am currently enrolled in Spanish 1402 (Elementary Spanish II) and was given the assignment to partake in a 30-minute conversation via TalkAbroad. Though some viewed this assignment as dreaded homework, I looked forward to the opportunity of connecting with a native speaker and having the chance to improve my Spanish. TalkAbroad met my expectations and my experience with Ana María (my conversation partner) gave me confidence in my Spanish speaking abilities. Ana immediately picked up on the level of Spanish I speak, using vocabulary I understood, speaking slowly, and patiently waiting on me to form my broken Spanish sentences. By the end of the conversation I felt as though I had made a new friend. I not only learned about her family and social life, but also gained knowledge about her culture and language.

Going into the conversation I was quite nervous. I was unsure of how to handle awkward pauses and feared being judged. Luckily, these fears did not become reality. When I did not know what to say, Ana filled in the gaps with a question or comment. She was engaged the whole conversation and she gave no sign of judgment. That’s not to say she wasn’t judging, because Lord knows I would be, but she concealed it well if she was. I left the conversation with a newfound confidence that I did not have before. I felt like I was capable of having a discussion with someone in another language and being understood.

Overall, TalkAbroad beat all my expectations and left me wanting to come back for more. I would highly recommend this for anyone at any level of Spanish (or other language) trying to improve in the language. The customer service was helpful and extremely responsive when I had troubles at the beginning, my partner was excellent and it was fun and easy.