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Annabelle Underwood, Boston University

31 August 2019

I used TalkAbroad twice for my fourth-semester level Spanish class at Boston University. The first conversation was about identity and my partner and I used our half hour to get to know each other while I could practice my Spanish speaking skills. The second assignment was about activism, politics, and social issues. Afterward there was a written assignment to summarize our conversations. I initially chose to speak with Diego Mayen from Honduras because I had the opportunity to explore potential partners and found that we shared similar interests in music and television. I chose to have Diego as my partner a second time because he was incredibly polite, concise, and friendly. We also were able to find a lot of common ground even while realizing a lot of very interesting differences in our lives socially and culturally.

Prior to any situation speaking a foreign language, there is some nervousness but Diego does an excellent job of making a comfortable environment to practice your Spanish speaking skills and by the end, I always felt very pleased with the results. The conversations were led by questions from my professor, but they took on a natural flow like talking to a friend or peer. I have been studying Spanish for about five years and this is the first time I have had an oral project of this nature. It is an incredibly interesting and relevant way of learning to communicate. It is a huge benefit in understanding the Spanish language and culture to have an actual conversation with someone living in a Spanish speaking country. I value greatly the opinions and cultural information that I can take away from these conversations, as it is a unique and special learning opportunity. I’ve only had very positive experiences with this service and look forward to using it again in my studies.