One of the benefits we offer to our students is a free language exchange. Learning in our classrooms and being immersed in a Mandarin speaking city like Kunming will undoubtedly do a lot to improve students' language skills. However, for a lot of students, a one-on-one exchange of Chinese for English with local students can do a lot to supplement their language learning while they are studying with us. There is simply no better way to practice ones listening and speaking skills than by having regular conversations with a native speaker.
Another benefit of language exchange is that students have the opportunity to meet their Chinese peers. What better way to make a new friend than working together to improve each others skills in a foreign language? In addition to improving their Chinese skills, students who choose to participate in our language exchange will get a personal in-depth education on Chinese culture and Kunming's local customs. But most importantly, having a language partner provides students with a fantastic opportunity to make a friend who can open up a whole new set of possibilities for them. Having friends in the local community is not only the best way to improve ones language skills but also the best way to ensure that you have a fun time while you are studying abroad.
In many ways, language exchange is at the center of what Minds Abroad is all about. We feel that classroom learning should not be the entire focus of study abroad. The opportunity to get out in the community, make new friends, and get a feel for what Chinese society is really like is what students must take advantage of if they are to make the most of their study abroad experience. For these reasons, we feel that language exchange is a perfect gateway to China for international students.