Moving to a new country and becoming proficient in a new language is tough, especially if you feel isolated and alone. But if you are moving to Melbourne and are hoping to make friends and learn English at the same time, then you are in luck! Melbourne is filled with fantastic groups, classes and individuals that are more than willing to share their time to practise English with you — all you have to do is find them. Not only will practising your English with people make it far easier to get a handle on the language, but you may just meet lifelong friends in the process.
Visit the Conversation Exchange website
If you’re unsure where to start looking for people, then begin by checking out Conversation Exchange online at www.conversationexchange.com. Conversation Exchange is an online language exchange community that can help connect you with others that will help you practise their language (and vice versa), either by meeting up face to face, corresponding over email and letters, or talking with text and voice chat. This is a great way to meet new friends from a variety of cultures while at the same time practising speaking, listening and writing in English.
Take a class
An organised class is by far one of the most effective methods of learning a new language and meeting people. In a classroom setting, you will have plenty of opportunities to practise speaking with the instructor as well as the other students, and you might just find that the socialising continues long after the class ends! Students who take English courses together often end up bonding more, and sometimes will end up in the next class together as well.
Join Let’s Talk! Conversation Group at Melbourne Uni
The Let’s Talk! Conversation Group at the Melbourne Uni is another fantastic club to check out. This group is filled with friendly local students who are more than willing to help you practise your English skills. Throughout the school year, this group organises plenty of fun events for students to attend, and if you join their small conversation sessions you’ll have the chance to meet and make friends with other local and international students.
Check out Gumtree
Gumtree is one of the most popular online classifieds at the moment, and it even has a special language swap category that will help you find real people who can help you practise your English. In general, people who use Gumtree language swap are looking to learn a language as well, so be ready to give out pointers for your native language in return! To use Gumtree, all you have to do is browse the postings to find someone who you think you would work well with, or create your own.
Take in a sporting event
Australians love their sport, so do as the Aussies do and check out a sporting event. Taking in a language is only a small part of learning about a new culture, and doing something that is very Australian is sure to get you in good with the local community. Most Aussies love talking about sport and their favourite teams, so you won’t have any problems striking up a conversation!
Learning a new language is difficult, but having people to practise speaking with is the most efficient and fun way to learn quickly. Plus, Melbourne has a lot of classes and groups to help you do just that, and will certainly help you meet people who could become lifelong friends.