Conversation Project

The Conversation Project is an initiative between the Centre for Academic English (CfAE) and Imperial College Union. 

Volunteers who speak English as their first language, or the bilingual equivalent, are needed to provide informal English conversation sessions for overseas students and researchers who are looking to improve their spoken English. 

The role

As a volunteer you would be expected to provide one-to-one support to students of the Centre for Academic English simply by chatting with them for an hour, once a week. New members of the College sometimes have difficulty conversing in English, and may be experiencing culture shock when they first arrive. You will play an essential role in helping them to improve their conversational English and feel part of the Imperial community. This is an excellent opportunity for anyone who has a busy schedule and is interested in different cultures.

You will:

  • Be matched with a learner and meet them 5 times
  • Engage in informal conversations in English on a topics chosen between you and the learner
  • Organise where and when meetings will take place on campus
  • Inform the Student Development Team of the timings of your meetings and evaluate progress

Time commitment 

Volunteer will be paired with an English learner and will need to meet with them 5 times over 5 weeks, with each meeting lasting about 1 hour. The minimum requirement is to complete 5 sessions with one learner. After you have completed your five sessions you will be paired with a new person if you so wish. The role is flexible, so if you would like to take a break between being matched with a new client, you can.

How to get involved

  • If you have used English as a medium for study or work for less than 8 years you will meet with CfAE
  • Attend volunteer induction with the Student Development Team

For any questions about the Conversation Project email the Student Development Team at

Beit Quadrangle
Prince Consort Road
London SW7 2BB
Registered Charity No: 1151241
Tel: 020 7594 8060
Fax: 020 7594 8065
Twitter: @icunion
VAT Reg No. GB 240 5617 84