Kristin Houdyshell, Boston University Part 1

I had a beginner French assignment, to be completed on TalkAbroad, in which we had to give an interview based on our partners’ music, art and book preferences. I spoke with Athar in Tunisia and had a great 10-minute conversation. In that time, I gained so much information from my partner about their likes and dislikes, culture and lifestyle. It was fun hearing from my partner about their favorite music and art and I enjoyed speaking to them in French.

At first, I had trouble logging on to the TalkAbroad website (I didn’t have the right browser open) and missed my first reservation. I messaged the TalkAbroad help center and they immediately got back with me. The help option (at the bottom right corner of the screen) was so helpful and they were really responsive. They immediately looked into the problem, gave me a coupon for my next conversation and emailed me right after. I went online, made another reservation with Athar, and spoke with them a few days later. I was nervous when going into the conversation and tried to stay calm yet active in our meeting. Once we got started, it felt like I was talking to a friend and Athar was relaxed and positive the whole time. Although I often messed up with my pronunciation and word order, my partner seemed to understand most of what I was saying and was polite when they didn’t know what I was asking. I had a great time speaking with Athar.

Using TalkAbroad made me want to speak to other people in French and use French outside of the classroom. My experience with my partner made me excited to visit francophone countries and cultures and grateful that I’m learning a new language. I was surprised at how much I would enjoy my conversation and wish I had more time to speak with my partner on TalkAbroad. I’m so glad we had to use TalkAbroad to practice our French. It was a wonderful opportunity to use what we’ve learned in class, in real life. I’ve already recommended TalkAbroad to friends and family and am looking forward to using it again to practice my French, meet new people and learn about other cultures.