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Patrick Schindel, University of Texas

14 Jun 2016

I used TalkAbroad to complete an assignment for my college Spanish course where we have a conversation with a native speaker and then answer questions about our experience. I talked with a man named Ramon Menses from Nicaragua and it went really well. I was nervous going into to it, but once I relaxed and started enjoying talking it was a lot of fun. Afterwards, I was kind of proud of what I had done. Of course my speaking wasn’t perfect, but just completing it was enough for me. We had a lot in common, so it was interesting to talk about those things but also seeing them from a perspective you may not see while living in the United States. One of the things we talked about was the difference in our respective college experiences. One thing that was pretty different was that he still lives with his parents while going to school, as do most college students in Hispanic countries, while a great majority of students board at college here in America.

Something that surprised me was how easy it actually was to talk to Ramon, even though I’m only learning the language, there didn’t feel like there was a language barrier at all. He was very easy to talk to and very open when talking to me, which I thought was really cool. I think something that was helpful even though I didn’t really thing about it was being able to speak over webcam instead of the phone. Being able to see him and read his face helped me because I could tell if I needed to explain something and that worked both ways as well; he could see if I was struggling to understand something he said. TalkAbroad was very helpful because it really let me practice speaking without any use of a handicap, I think that having these conversations on a regular basis would help my speaking ability immensely. TalkAbroad was a great experience for me and one I would recommend to anyone trying to learn a language.