At Swap, we currently have two different ways to get involved: Swap Lessons & Swap Exchange.
Swap Lessons: Teach English to an employee on campus
Through Swap Lessons, CU students are trained to teach English to CU employees in one-on-one lessons. Many adult employees who work on campus are immigrants who need help with English skills in order to succeed in their jobs and elsewhere. At your training, we introduce you to our curriculum, supply you with lesson planning materials, and have conversations on what it means to be an English tutor. After one 4-hour training, student partners submit their schedules and are matched with an employee partner. Student partners meet with their employee partners for two one-hour lessons per week. These lessons generally take place wherever the employee partner works.
An important consideration for Swap Lessons is the free time you have in your schedule. We match student and employee partners mainly based off common availabilities in schedules. We ask that you submit at least 3-5 free hours in your schedule in order to maximize the probability of being matched with an employee partner.
What is the commitment like? You must commit to at least one full semester of working with an employee, twice a week, for an hour each time. That's two hours a week, for at least 12 weeks. However, we love and encourage our student and employee partners to continue lessons for multiple semesters or years.
What do you get out of it? You'll learn a lot from your employee partner, you'll gain a new friend and some new perspectives. Being a part of Swap Lessons helps open one's eyes to systematically divided parts of campus. You'll also get valuable practice teaching English if you're looking to work on those skills.
Want to get involved? Every semester we hold training sessions for new volunteers. Training is mandatory to be a volunteer with the Swap program and you MUST RSVP. We offer three to four sessions at the beginning of each semester, and try to schedule these at an accomodating time for your busy schedule. There is also really yummy food, too. Learn more or sign up for an upcoming training by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We're really excited to meet you!
NOTE: If you are a CU employee, supervisor, or someone interested in receiving English lessons from Swap, email us your information and we would love to get you started. If you know someone who may be interested in lessons, please feel free to let us know as well.
Swap Exchange: Volunteer with the CU International English Center (IEC)
Through Swap Exchange, Swap has partnered with the CU International English Center (IEC) in an effort bring together and create community between Swap volunteers and IEC students. The IEC is CU's extensive English learning center that many international students attend before attending a university in the United States, mainly, CU. Before they attend college, these students must graduate from the IEC which teaches them English and other skills so that they are ready for college level classes. However, as we all know, college is about a lot more than just what happens in the classroom, and this is where you gets involved.
In Swap Exchange, Swap volunteers do not teach English to their IEC partner, but rather act as a English conversation and friendship partner. As a volunteer with Swap Exchange, you get to welcome a new and critically important student to the CU and larger Boulder community. As part of this partnership, we match interested CU partners with IEC partners and ask them to hang out a few times a month. This could mean going hiking, grabbing dinner or a movie, or going to the library. Swap Exchange volunteers are required to go to the first half of a Swap Lessons training.
What is the commitment like? We will match you with an IEC student of similar age and interests. Then we simply ask you to hang out with your student a few times a month. This is a wonderful option for those unable to commit to the weekly schedule of Swap Lessons.
What do you get out of it? Meet someone new. Make a friend! Learn about their language, culture, country. Multiculturalism. Diversity. The list goes on.
Want to get involved? Shoot us an email at email@example.com to get started with Swap Exchange. Swap Exchange volunteers are required to go to the first half of a Swap Lessons training, held at the begining of each semester. For more information on the IEC, visit their website.
NOTE: If you are an IEC or international student in Boulder seeking a conversation partner, please email us and we would love to get you started.