The INTERLINK Language Center at UNCG provides international students with ESL (English as a Second Language) training, cultural orientation and academic preparation, as well as help with university placement and conditional admission to assure a successful and memorable educational experience in the United States. With offices located in the Foust Building basement, the INTERLINK program currently serves around 115 students from all parts of the world.
The conversation-partners program began in the fall of 2010 with the goal of connecting INTERLINK students with UNCG students, faculty, and staff. Conversation pairs are created (randomly) and include one INTERLINK student and one UNCG participant. The program benefits INTERLINK students by giving them opportunities to practice their English with proficient/native speakers. Moreover, all participants benefit from meeting new people, learning about other cultures, and having shared experiences.
The program is informal in nature, the main expectation being that pairs will meet for at least one hour each week to engage in conversation. Past and current participants have typically met on or near the UNCG campus (e.g., the EUC), although this is not a requirement as long as transportation is available. Suggested activities include: meeting over coffee or a meal; hanging out before, between, or after classes; playing board games; and, attending events together on campus or in the city of Greensboro. Since the major goal of the program is to promote conversation, there are no defined activities or meeting places; rather, each pair can work out its own plan based on mutual interests and availability.
There are likewise a number of group-wide events for all conversation partners throughout the year. In the past, these events have included a Halloween party, a game night, and potlucks. All participants are added to an email list so that they can be informed of upcoming events.
For questions about the program, please contact Hitam (Sam) Alsharif at