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Conversation Partners Program

Who We Are

Our mission is to prepare and train individuals to be confident to lead in a multicultural business environment. We achieve this through partnering international graduate students with domestic students, faculty, and staff. Through these partnerships, our program strives to:

  • Assist international students in developing key language skills
  • Broaden all partners’ cultural and diversity awareness
  • Build relationships across cultures
  • Provide members with confidence and the ability to easily and effectively communicate with anyone — valuable skills in both networking and in the workplace

What We Do

We ask that partners meet a minimum of two times per month in person. Meetings can be wherever you and your partner decide, on or off campus. The program is extremely flexible. As long as both you and your partner are satisfied with the arrangement, you can do whatever you’d like. In addition to individual partner meetings, we hold fun group cultural events to let partners experience and learn about both foreign and U.S. cultures.

How Joining Can Benefit You

Becoming a conversation partner provides members of the Bentley community with an easy and enjoyable way to give back, while also boosting your resume. Our program provides:

  • Improved communication skills and experience in communicating through language barriers
  • Increased knowledge and awareness of other cultures and perspectives
  • An easy way to show employers your acceptance and knowledge of diversity

How to Join

Please fill out the Conversation Partners Intake Form to sign up; the information will be sent to us directly.  Please note that the pairing process occurs in the order that forms are received (first come, first served), but it also depends on being able to find an appropriate match.

We have also provided a list of resources that you can refer to if needed.


“The purpose that I join this program is not only to improve my English speaking, but the more important point is to make a friend and learn from each other. I am so lucky to have Vanas my partner. She is really a nice and patient person. I feel like she is the one I can turn to whenever I need her. We share some common ground in culture but have different growing backgrounds, so we can have a lot to share with each other. I would hope our friendship last forever, even after my graduation from Bentley.”  – Wei Yiran, MSMA student

“I have been meeting weekly for the past two semesters with Amy Chen and Jing Wang.  We've met for lunch during the fall semester and for coffee and conversation this semester.  We've shared our family histories, vacation plans and career issues as well as English pronunciation. They also tolerate my attempt at speaking Mandarin, which I studied 40 years ago. I look forward to meeting with Jing and Amy and we have a lot of laughs as well. For Christmas we exchanged presents and keep in touch by email when necessary. We have had a very enjoyable year and I appreciate the opportunity to work with both these young Chinese graduate students.” – Nina Schneider, Adjunct Lecturer in the English Department

“I enjoy being a part of conversation partners program, because I made good friends, learnt the language and had a lot more fun. Iren Miteva is myconversation partner. She is a really nice person and a good friend. We went out shopping Halloween costume, party dress, and we joined a lot of activities together. As girls, we chit chat a lot, and became really good friends. Thanks to the conversation partners program, which brought a good friend to my life and made my life at Bentley more exciting and colorful!” – Jiangmei Cao, MSF student

“It is just so warm that there is a Conversation Partner Program at Bentley. As far as I am concerned, for international students who just jump into the American culture, the understanding and company from a native friend is very necessary and helpful. The CP program enables me to have a person to turn to when I have difficulties or confusions in my life here. What's more, people tend to live their lives more seriously and positively when they know that there are people caring about them. That is exactly how I feel. Each time, when I share something interesting or joyful with Susan, I get a chance to realize that how meaningful and colorful my life is here in the U.S. And each time, when I have bad news to say to her, I know that I will get back advice and support. In a word, what the Conversation Partner Program provides is much more than just the help on language.” – Rui Tian, MSMA student

"Linda really helps me understanding American culture, getting involved in American society, and practicing English. She is a precious friend with whom I can share my feelings and my thoughts. I appreciate her time of hanging out with me!" – Lu Fan, MSF student

"Getting to know Qinyi and learn about her life, culture, and beliefs has helped me to become a better listener and expand my own understanding of a world beyond Boston.  She has such a vibrant spirit and has taught me so much about persistence by watching her meet the challenges of taking on graduate study in another country and in another language. She is remarkable." - George F. Thompson, Assistant Dean, McCallum Graduate School

Help Us Improve

Send us your feedback using our anonymous Comments and Suggestions form. We need your help to make our program better!

Check out some of our previous members’ comments about the Conversation Partners Program on our testimonials page.

By participating in this community effort, we represent Bentley University and therefore adhere to the Bentley Beliefs and the rights, responsibilities, and policies of the university. These can be found online on pages 1 and 2 of The Graduate Student Handbook. Please familiarize yourself with these policies and beliefs.

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